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Certificate of Stillbirth

The definition of "stillbirth" means that an infant suffered a fetal death. A free Certificate of Stillbirth can be obtained for events which occurred between September 26, 2003, to the present from the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics.  Should you have questions or concerns regarding the following information, please call our customer service team at (614) 466-2531.

A fetal death certificate must be filed by the local health department in order for our office to issue a free certificate of stillbirth (the fetal death certificate is the form on which medical and demographic information is collected; the certificate of stillbirth is the summary of facts issued free of charge to grieving parents).  To order a free certificate of stillbirth from the Ohio Department of Health, click here to use the vital record application.

Senate Bill 175 allows EITHER parent the ability to apply to file for a fetal death certificate at the local health department if the product of conception is less than 20 weeks.  In order to file for this certificate, the hospital/Dr.’s office/clinic must prepare a written statement of the facts.  The statement needs to include three important points:

  1. Confirms the woman was pregnant and subsequently suffered a fetal demise of  less than 20 weeks gestation.
  2. The date of the miscarriage.
  3. The signature of a physician or coroner confirming the facts.

Once the statement of facts is presented to the local health department, a fetal death certificate shall be prepared with the demographic information completed.  The local health department will need to sign, date, and file the certificate utilizing their current office policies.

Things to remember:

  • Either parent has up to 7 years to file a fetal death certificate for a fetal demise.  As long as a signed physician’s statement can be obtained, a delayed fetal death certificate shall be filed by the local health department.  No authorization from the state Office of Vital Statistics will need to be obtained in order to file a prior year under 20 weeks gestation fetal death certificate.  
  • A father of the child can also file for a fetal death certificate.  A notarized statement from the mother shall be provided at the time of application indicating that the mother voluntarily provided the father with a copy of the physician’s statement of facts.
  • A mother can elect to put father’s information on the record, even if she was not married at the time.
  • If fetal remains are to be buried or cremated, the funeral director must be issued a burial permit and pay the cost of $3.00.  There is no longer a waived fee for burial permits for any fetal deaths.


Should you need assistance, contact our customer service team at 614-466-2531 or email

If you are looking for statistical information, review the Fetal Deaths page on our website.


Reviewed: 4/4/2017