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Fetal Death Certificates

A fetal death certificate is an official legal documentation that contains a summary of a fetal death (stillbirth) record.  A fetal death certificate is printed on specialized security paper that contains a raised seal.  This document is frequently used for legal purposes.

Our office only issues fetal death certificates for fetal deaths that occurred in Pennsylvania since 1950.

For fetal death certificates from other states:  If you need a certificate for a fetal death that occurred in another state, see the National Center for Health StatisticsOpens In A New Window' website for contact information.

Where do I get a fetal death certificate?

For in-person services:  You may order a fetal death certificates in person (8 am to 4 pm weekdays, excluding state holidays) at one of our six Vital Records Branch Offices.  However, all orders are transferred to our main office in New Castle for processing.  Bring along a completed Application for Death Certificate (PDF) or complete an application upon your arrival.  Payment is only by check or money order made payable to "Vital Records".  Cash and credit cards are not accepted.

For mail services:  You may complete an Application for Death Certificate (PDF) and mail it to the address listed below.  If year of the fetal death is unknown, complete an application for a multi-year search.  All certificates are mailed using First Class Mail®.  If you require expedited shipping, please apply online and select "UPS" as your shipping option.  

                         Division of Vital Records
                         Death Certificate Processing Unit
                         PO Box 1528
                         New Castle PA  16103

How do I get a fetal death certificate?

You must complete an application.

Complete an Application for a Death Certificate (PDF)Opens In A New Window form to order a certificate. 

You must meet the legal requirements to receive a birth certificate.

  • You must complete an application to request a certificate.
  • You must show valid identification.
  • You must sign your application.
  • You must be an eligible application.  Eligible applicants must be 18 years of age or older, and include the following:
    • Parent or step-parent.  A step-parent must also submit a marriage certificate to support the relationship to the person named on the birth certificate.
    • Brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister.
    • Grandparent or great-grandparent
    • Power of Attorney
    • Extended family members who indicate a direct relationship to the decedent (documentation may be required).
  • You must pay a fee of $20 for each fetal death certificate ordered unless you meet the fee waiver requirements for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. If ordering online, you must also pay a $10 service fee and applicable delivery fees if selecting UPS overnight shipping.  Fees are non-refundable.

You will receive a certified "Statement of No Death Record Found" if you request a certificate and the Vital Records Office cannot identify or find a record using the information you provide. Therefore, please provide as much information as possible to assist us in locating the death record you are applying for.

How long does it take to get a fetal death certificate?

See our Processing Times page for current processing times.  Fetal death processing time following the same processing times as death certificates.   

Processing times are based upon application receipt date and do not include delivery time.  Processing times may be delayed if we need to resolve application issues, for genealogical requests, or if your application involves a subpoena, court order, or power of attorney.  Requests for changes to a fetal death record may also require additional processing.

What is the cost for a fetal death certificate?

The cost for a death certificate is $20 regardless of the quantity that you order.  This fee is established in accordance with Pennsylvania's Administrative Code of 1929.  Payment is deposited upon receipt of your application and is not refundable. 

Please submit payment in the form of a check or money order made payable to "VITAL RECORDS".  Cash is not accepted.

To qualify for the fee waiver for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, you or your spouse (includes widow/widower if not remarried) must be in active service or was honorably discharged from service.  The fee is only waived if you are the parent of the fetus and meet the U.S. Armed Forces waiver requirements.  The funeral home responsible for the fetal death record may also apply on behalf of a parent who meets the requirements of the fee waiver for members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  Applications for genealogical requests are not approved for fee waiver.

Where can I get more information?

If you have questions about Pennsylvania birth certificates, contact the Division of Vital Records using one of the following methods:

  • Call 724-656-3100 or toll-free at 844-228-3516, Mondays through Fridays 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Power of Attorney (POA) Information

A Power of Attorney (POA) document should only be submitted when an individual or eligible family member is unable to apply for a birth certificate, a death certificate or a fetal death certificate. If, as POA, you cannot comply with the following instructions, the individual or eligible requestor must apply for the certificate.

An explanation must be included with the application as to why the individual or eligible family member is unable to apply.

Applicants submitting a POA document should review the applicable code for the state or country where the POA document was executed to ensure validity prior to submission with the application for a birth certificate, a death certificate or a fetal death certificate.

If you have been granted POA for the person named on a birth certificate, you must submit a notarized POA document that contains the original signatures of the parties involved, including the original notary's signature and seal. Your original document will be returned to you.

If you have been granted POA for an individual who is eligible to request a death certificate or a fetal death certificate, you must submit a notarized POA document that contains the original signatures of the parties involved, including the original notary's signature and seal. Your original document will be returned to you.

If you do not wish to send the original POA document, you may file the original notarized POA with the Clerk of Orphan's Court division of the Court of Common Pleas (usually in the county where the person granting the power of attorney resides) to obtain a certified copy of the POA document issued by the court. The certified copy of the POA document that includes the seal of the court may be submitted to our office in lieu of the original document. The document will be returned to you.

Note that a Power of Attorney (POA) document is no longer valid upon the death of an individual.

Fetal Death Corrections

Occasionally, errors (such as spelling or typographical errors) are made when reporting fetal death certificate information to the Division of Vital Records. It is usually easy to correct these minor errors. The individual requesting the correction must request a new Certificate of Fetal Death by submitting a properly completed Death Certificate Application with the required fee or Armed Forces information. Information on requesting and processing different types of fetal death certificate corrections are listed below.

How to Correct Personal Information on a Fetal Death Certificate When Delivery Occurred Within the Past Two Years

To correct spelling or typographical errors in the name of the stillborn fetus or parent's information, the funeral director who signed the original fetal death certificate must complete and submit to the Division of Vital Records a death correction form.

  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed death correction statement. List the correct information in the Corrections Desired column. The correction statement must include the signature of the funeral director who signed the original certificate.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Death Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces dependents. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.
  • PROCESSING – Click Current Processing Times for the most up-to-date processing information.

How to Correct Personal Information on a Fetal Death Certificate When Delivery Occurred More Than Two Years Ago

To correct spelling or typographical errors in the name of the stillborn fetus or parent's information, the funeral director who signed the original fetal death certificate must complete and submit to the Division of Vital Records a death correction form.

  • FORM - The individual requesting the correction must include a completed death correction statement. List the correct information in the Corrections Desired column. The correction statement must include the signature of the funeral director who signed the original certificate. A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the information to be corrected must also be submitted. Acceptable documents include a hospital or physician's record. Documents will NOT be returned.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Death Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces dependents. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.

If a Correction to a Fetal Death Certificate is Not Addressed Above

If a correction you require is not listed above, follow the instructions below or, if you require additional information, contact the Division of Vital Records at 844-228-3516 or 724-656-3100.

  • FORM - A photocopy of any one document that conclusively establishes the information to be corrected must be submitted for review. Acceptable documents include a hospital or physician's record. Documents will NOT be returned.
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE APPLICATION – A completed and signed Death Certificate Application with ID and payment should be mailed to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16103. Be sure to include a valid email address to receive an email acknowledgement that your application was received.
    • ID - Include a legible photocopy of the individual's (person requesting the correction) valid government-issued photo ID verifying the name and current mailing address. Examples include a state-issued driver's license or non-driver photo ID. Expired IDs cannot be accepted. If the address has been changed, include copy of the update card. If possible, enlarge photo ID on copier by at least 150 percent. If you do not have acceptable photo identification, you may submit a completed Statement from Requestors Not Possessing Acceptable Government-Issued Photo ID with two acceptable documents verifying current address.
    • PAYMENT – Include a check or money order made out to VITAL RECORDS for the exact amount of your order. Fee may be waived for armed forces dependents. Click the FETAL DEATH CERTIFICATE FEES bar above for more information. Note that cash is not accepted. If cash is submitted with your application, it will be returned, causing additional delays.