On Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that would make life a bit easier for Orthodox parents of newborns. Bill S1066, sponsored by Senator Bob Singer, and Assembly members  Sean Kean, David Rible and Nancy Pinkin, allows the filing of a birth certificate to be delayed for religious reasons for up to fifteen days after birth in order to allow for the naming of the child.

Previously, a parent had up to five days to name a child and submit the birth certificate to the state. If no name was given, both parents would have to travel back to the hospital to file paperwork at a later date. This created a hardship for some Orthodox parents who, for religious reasons, wait until a boy’s circumcision or a girl’s religious naming ceremony to give the child a name. Providing a religious accommodation to extend the time allotted for filing a birth certificate follows precedents set by other states and the measure faced no opposition.

“We thank Senator Singer and Assembly members Kean, Rible and Pinkin for their sponsorship of the bill and to Governor Christie for signing it into law,” said Agudah’s New Jersey’s director, Rabbi Avi Schnall. “A small change in the law provided a big relief to affected parents.”

(Author: Rabbi Avi Schnall, New Jersey Director)