• August 1, 2021

Mass. lawmakers urge families to file for guardianship


— With two new cases of coronavirus circulating in the state, lawmakers are urging parents to file paperwork for guardianships in the case of a child with a parent who has died.

The state’s highest court on Monday ordered the state to issue birth certificates to the family of the child with the longest surviving parent, but did not order any death certificates to be made public.

In the past week, a dozen other people who were in close proximity to a person who died have been diagnosed with the virus.

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families is asking all of its agencies to assist in issuing birth certificates and death certificates in the cases of those who have died, with the state requesting that any documents be filed by Dec. 19.

Massachusetts has so far issued 4,086 death certificates and 5,071 birth certificates.

The state has a backlog of 2,724, which has created a lot of confusion among those who want to be a part of the process.

The backlog has reached nearly 5,000, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The department said that it has begun to review documents in cases where the parents of the deceased are not yet identified, or where it is unclear how long the parents have lived in the United States.

The department said it also has begun an effort to get birth certificates made public, but added that it will not be able to do so until the backlog is cleared.

In some cases, it is too late to obtain a birth certificate, the department said, and the state is asking the public to report the missing persons to the department.

For more information, visit www.mass.gov/health/care/guardianship/parent.shtml