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22nd Feb 2024

UK parents who suffer miscarriage before 24 weeks can now apply for baby loss certificate

Jody Coffey

baby loss

Trigger warning: This article mentions baby loss.

This is a very important move for those who suffer baby loss

In the UK, a Government baby loss certificate scheme has been launched to recognise the grief of parents who lose their baby early in a pregnancy.

The voluntary scheme will offer parents who experienced loss before 24 weeks an official certificate that will formally acknowledge their heartbreak and devastation.

The new certificate is not compulsory, parents will now have the option of availing of the official but not legal document.

This comes as the Government’s response to the independent Pregnancy Loss Review.

From today, parents will be able to access this service, with parents who have experienced loss under 24 weeks back as far as September 2018 also eligible for the certificates.

The UK Government is also planning to expand eligibility in the future

The Minister for the Women’s Health Strategy in the UK, Maura Caulfield, says parents who lose a baby before 24 weeks may feel there is a lack of recognition, making the certificate an important move for bereaved parents.

“Getting an official certificate means a lot,” Caulfield said while speaking at St George’s Hospital in London, per ITV.

“Parents feel it’s so important to see their baby’s name on a certificate that they can share with family, and friends and remember that baby.

“We’ve had parents user-testing the system which is why it’s taken a little bit longer to get up and running than we would have liked.

“It’s a very difficult time for parents, even if they don’t do it straight away… so we want to make it as easy as possible.”

Prior to the scheme, there was no formal recognition for parents who lost their babies early in the pregnancy.

It is hoped that these certificates will offer a degree of comfort during such a heartbreaking experience.

The new scheme is being launched today in England only, although people in Scotland can already apply to have their loss recorded in the Memorial Book of Pregnancy and Baby Loss Prior to 24 weeks and receive a certificate of inclusion in the book.