The ‘Genesis Act’ calls for state to issue nonviable birth certificates

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 11:24 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A Jefferson County woman who gave birth at 17 weeks is working to change state law when it comes to issuing birth certificates for nonviable births.

Keondra Hampton has “Genesis” with angel wings tattooed on her arm. It’s a constant reminder of the little girl she gave birth to who passed away shortly after being born.

“Genesis was of size that I could hold her. She was a full baby. She was small, but she was still a baby,” Hampton said.

Genesis was born at 17 weeks and when Hampton requested a birth certificate, she was told she couldn’t receive one because in Alabama, you have to be 20 weeks to be recorded.

“Her life matters and others babies lives matter,” Hampton said.

While dealing with the loss of her child, Hampton began a journey to change the law. She got in touch with lawmakers who created House Bill 55 known as the “Genesis Act” that would ensure any parent that loses a baby will be able to request a non-viable birth certificate prior to 20 weeks.

“It just means so much because you carry a baby and just because the baby doesn’t make it to 20 weeks, it doesn’t mean that their life did not matter,” Hampton said.

Hampton thinks of her daughter every day and she wants something like a birth certificate to add to the memories.

“You want something to show that you were a mother that cared for this baby..having something tangible especially in a state that really have so many laws concerning babies. Genesis was my baby too,” Hampton said.

The bill passed the Senate Tuesday afternoon and is heading to Governor Ivey’s desk, according to the bill’s sponsor State Representative Juandalynn Givan, D-Jefferson County.

Hampton is overjoyed about the bill passing the legislature. She said she named her baby Genesis for several reasons. One reason being the beginning. She hopes this legislation will be the beginning to help other families as well.

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