Amarillo couple credited for helping pass state law - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Amarillo couple credited for helping pass state law

Amarillo, TX -  An Amarillo family is being credited for helping pass what many are saying is a long overdue Texas law.

The Raef couple is just one of many parents who have had tough decisions to make in their life. And they have turned one negative situation into something that will impact parents to come.

 Amarillo parents Erica and Joshua Raef are being applauded for their courage and accomplishment. And while they did not want to go on camera, Joshua did share his story with us.

The couple suffered a miscarriage at 13 weeks with their son Liam. A doctor then told them if Erica delivered at the hospital, they would not be able to take Liam's body for burial.

Per Texas law, hospitals were not allowed to release the remains of infants less than 20 weeks old.

Attorney Stewart Werner tells us House Bill 635 will change that.

"House bill 635 has to do with a hospital requiring to turn over the remains on the request of a parent or baby that miscarried. Or of a mother that miscarried," says Werner.

The couple chose to deliver Liam at home, so they would be able to give him a proper burial. Werner says many hospitals would treat remains as any other material.

"In the past, hospitals were not required to do that, hospitals would mainly, hospitals would treat it treat the remains as just typical waste like bandages, needles and organs and this bill requires hospitals to turn over the remains on the request of the parent."

The Raefs have put blood, sweat, and tears into fighting for HB 635 to become law and now...it is. The couple spoke to a Texas house committee in April. And the Texas House and Senate passed the bill unanimously.

"Now they are required to do so and of course, there's a societal benefit to that," says Werner.

Joshua says despite the trials and tribulations he and Erica have had to endure, they do not regret their choice to birth at home.  

The new state law will begin implementation on September 1st.

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