Friday, January 30, 2009

I can't believe I'm even asking this

Well, it's tax time. I knew this was going to come up, at least for me.

Joshua was born still.
Jacob had cardiac activity. "briefly" is what the record said. They did not give me a birth certificate, but my understanding is that in my state if I baby lives for even a few moments, he or she is considered to have lived. Not only did I not get a birth certificate for him, the death certificates had the wrong names and (I think) the incorrect times of birth.

Does "brief cardiac activity" count? I'm not looking for a pat on the back here, if it doesn't I will let it go. I will. But if it does count as "life", Jacob should be counted on our tax return. It feels so morbid, saying, "so, does my dead baby get me a $3500 deduction, or what?"

I have a couple of people in mind whom I might be able to contact, though the idea of dealing with all this bureacracy fills me with dread. And it might be too late anyway.

Part of what touched me so much when my aunt lit those yarzheit candles was that she was remembering them, acknowledging them, their presences, their lives, however brief.

Am I just asking for trouble if I start asking the state to do the same thing? To make, at least Jacob's life, official?

I welcome your thoughts.


k@lakly said...

I have a link on my blog about db and taxes. Maybe it will help or at least lead you to someone who can.
Do what you need to do and don't let anyone question it. It's your grief and your boys.

Mrs. Spit said...

We claimed Gabe. I felt so awful, and was thankful for the accountant who pointed out, that in this garbage dump of a situation, I didn't get the baby I was entitled too, I should at least get a tax credit.

But still, it feels uncomfortable.

Michele said...

Our children took breaths also; our son, Nick, lived an entire hour. But, because the state has yet to issue a birth certificate, the IRS says we are not supposed to claim them. I still dont know what to do.

Michele said...

Tash said...

Interesting yet sad question, and I'm completely clueless! (The last few years I've just handed stuff over to our tax guy and did/signed whatever he said too. I'm one of those "I had no idea!" people that we all yell at.) Sounds like your getting some good leads.

Ya Chun said...

Sorry it is now time for you to deal with this.

Do the tax forms need a soc.sec. number?

It's gonna break my heart when I go to fill out the tax forms this year...

I think you should go for it, but not if it causes so much distress (unless you want to pay someone else to do it - but then goes the tax refund!). Just the recognition on the tax forms, by the gov't, might make it worthwhile.


Anonymous said...

i read it somewhere on line and my mother also advised me that since Daniella was born alive that i could claim her.

did a social security card arrive for him? that would make it much easier. if i were in your shoes i would assume that yes he would qualify as a deduction. ask a tax analyst and if so, i think you would need a social security number for him.

there is nothing wrong with this question.

sharah said...

Get a professional tax laywer or accountant involved. If you have SSNs for them, I am almost certain they can be claimed.

Anonymous said...

i thought we could claim ruby, but we couldn't b/c we were not issued a birth certificate. my bil is a/our cpa -- if you'd like, i'll send you his contact info. just let me know. since he already looked this up for me, he'll be able to help you, and quickly.

niobe said...

I got a tax deduction for the twin that lived for four hours (the other twin was stillborn, so I couldn't get a deduction). The money went straight into my surrogacy fund.

So I feel, somehow, that my lost baby helped my in my long and painful journey to be able to pursue the (incredibly expensive) surrogacy process and that my new baby is here, in part, thanks to my lost twin. I am sad. But I'm also grateful.


Anonymous said...

The best place to start may be with the hospital the boys were born at - ask for their vital records department. We were contacted by them shortly after Quinn's birth and death to verify our information and to ask the appropriate questions for the death certificate (in Colorado they want to know how much weight the mother gained prior to delivery - I have no idea why.) She was issued both a birth and death certificate, as well as a SSN. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this - my thoughts continue to remain with you and your husband.

Kathy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. (((HUGS)))

The day after our baby girl Molly was born and died (she lived for about 15 minutes) someone at our hospital from the records department came to speak with us. She had us fill out forms so that later we could order Molly's birth certificate if we wanted. I believe that our funeral director took care of the death certificate.

Our hospital also took care of ordering her social security card and did make it clear to us that because she did live briefly, that we could claim her on our taxes, which we have already done. I am pretty sure that we needed Molly's social security number to be able to claim her.

I hope this helps and agree that your first step would likely be to contact the hospital's records department. Hang in there. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.