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Woman hopes to change birth certificate law after her own loss

Posted at 11:11 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-04 02:29:16-05

A Las Vegas mother is fighting for recognition of her son Thornton Edward Giron.

"We only got a death certificate," Jonica Giron said. "No birth certificate. No acknowledgement to his birth at all."
The baby boy died during the delivery process.
"He was alive during the labor process, but at some point his heart couldn't take it and he passed away," Giron said.
A heartbreaking loss, his parents say was made worse by the fact that there was no record he was ever alive.
"The only thing that your child's name gets put on is something that tells you they are gone," Giron said.
"How can you have a death certificate without having a birth. They are not separate entities."
Jonica and her husband, Ryan Giron, held out hope baby Thor would make it.
Doctors delivered the devastating news halfway through the pregnancy that the odds were stacked against the baby boy.
"You are supposed to find out the sex and be happy and everything.  Everything stopped and changed," Jonica Giron said.
Doctors discovered Thor had a chromosomal abnormality, trisomy 18, telling the Girons he likely wouldn’t survive.
That didn’t make the tragic loss any easier for the family.
"The first words out of my mouth after he was born were, 'I'm sorry Thor, because I couldn't bring him into the world alive," Jonica Giron said.
Before their baby boy was taken away from them, the parents cherished every moment even taking pictures to remember their son.
"You just want to make the most out of the time you have," Giron said.
The frustration propelled Giron to fight for a change to state law came when they left the hospital and were asked to fill out information for the death certificate instead of a birth certificate.
That’s because the only birth certificate currently available in Nevada is a certificate of live birth.
"I didn't think it was fair. I didn't think it was right," Giron said.
Giron says research showed she wasn’t alone as she says about one family a day in the Las Vegas area deals with the pain.
That’s why Giron reached out to State Sen. Scott Hammond.
He has submitted BDR 73 what’s been dubbed “Thor’s Bill” to the state Legislature, which is set to convene Monday.
The senator said Friday that he knows the tragedy that comes with the loss of a child as he and his wife lost their first child four months into the pregnancy.
Thor’s Bill would create a new certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.
The certificate would clearly differentiate itself from the current birth certificate, but Giron says the slip of paper could make a huge difference in families' ability to cope with a stillbirth.
"It is not just a paper. It acknowledges our children and it helps with the grieving," Giron said.
The certificate would be optional for parents.
Giron says pushing for the change has helped her in the grieving process herself and gives Thor’s life purpose.
"It helps give a reason and a meaning to why we lost him in the first place," Giron said.

As she works to help push Thor’s Bill through the state Legislature, Jonica and Ryan Giron are preparing to welcome Thor’s little brother into the world within days of what would have been the little boy’s first birthday.