Birth Certificate Law

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Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed new legislation Sunday that's meant to ease the trauma of parents who lose a child shortly after birth.

Until now, parents whose child died within three months of birth could only get a birth certificate with the word "deceased" stamped on it. The requirement was designed to prevent identity theft, but some parents said the certificates added to their distress.

The legal change was inspired by the case of Doris Virginia Sewell, the daughter of Tim and Irene Sewell of Glenview. Their daughter lived only two days before dying following complications from delivery. The Sewells wanted a memento of Doris' life and say her memory was marred by the required stamp.

The new bill allows parents to get clean birth certificates within nine months of their child's death.