England To Issue Certificate To Parents to Who Lose Baby Before 24 Weeks

In the past, parents in England had no formal way to recognize the loss of a baby before 24 weeks. Babies lost after that time are eligible for a death certificate, but earlier pregnancy losses are often ignored, at least from an official point of view. Now, however, the rules have changed. Parents who have lost a child before 24 weeks from September 2018 onwards can now obtain a government certificate acknowledging their grief and the loss they have faced.

The new baby loss certificate is designed to help parents process their loss and the trauma that comes with it, by formally acknowledging the devastating feeling that losing a baby to a miscarriage often brings. Although it will not be a legal document like a death certificate, it will be an official document that millions of people will have the opportunity to apply for.

Losing a baby at any point in the development process can be very devastating for families so the purpose of the certificate is to show women and parents that they are recognized and supported during difficult times. The certificates were originally discussed as part of a women’s health strategy that began in July 2022, and the ability to apply for these certificates means that the government has fulfilled its promise to recognize this type of loss

Either parent can receive a certificate, as long as they live in England and were resident there at the time of the loss. Even early pregnancy losses, before the baby is born, can be stressful, traumatic, and painful. There are hopes and dreams that come with pregnancy, and all of that is stripped away when that pregnancy is lost. The certificate is designed to provide formal recognition of the baby’s life and the loss experienced by the parents.

Eventually, the goal is to extend the option for certificates in September 2018. Then, more parents who have lost babies before 24 weeks will be able to apply and have their baby’s short time recognized with them.

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