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Gov. Kasich signs bill approving birth certificates for stillborn babies
***We want to caution you, in this piece there are pictures of the baby that did not survive***
CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- Families grieving the loss of a baby now get some measure of comfort because of a new Ohio law.
The law gives parents of stillborn babies birth certificates. Before, parents were given death certificates or "Certification of Stillbirth" documents.
"I wanted to share this because this is like the ultimate, "Your baby's not here," because only the first few pages are filled and I'll never get to fill the rest of it, Christina Kakaris said.
Christina Kakaris still has love in her heart for a baby she never got to see grow up. 12 years ago, after 16 hours of labor, her first child named Tyler was stillborn.
She tells us, "I was 41 weeks and two days pregnant and I had went into labor and we went to the hospital and they couldn't find his heartbeat."
With the help of her family, Christina has moved forward. She keeps mementos of Tyler like his hand and footprints. And since Tyler passed away Christina has given birth to six healthy boys. She also has custody of her niece and nephew.
"People don't understand that even though I have eight children here to raise, there's always one missing," Christina said.
When Tyler died Christina didn't get an actual birth certificate. But a new Ohio law changes wording on certificates for stillborn babies from "Certification of Stillbirth" to "Certification of Birth".
"When you don't get a birth certificate, it's like saying they didn't exist. It's like my first son was never here like all you get is a death certificate," Christina explained.
Each year the family honors Tyler with a balloon release. They also have a brick at a park dedicated to the baby. Some may see it as just a change of wording, or just a piece of paper. But it means the world to parents who've lost someone precious.
Christina Kakaris says a support group at Atrium Medical Center has helped her heal since Tyler's death. She will go to the health department for his birth certificate in the next few weeks.
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