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Certificates for pre-24 week loss now available in England

22nd February 2024

We’re extremely pleased that, from today (22nd February 2024), official certificates will be available for women and their partners who have experienced a pregnancy or baby loss before 24 weeks.

Until now, only losses from 24 weeks onwards have been formally recognised. We, along with other pregnancy and baby loss charities like Sands, Tommy’s and the Mariposa Trust, have been calling for some time for those with earlier losses to be able to have their babies acknowledged, too.

The new certificates are entirely optional and while not legal documents, we know they will provide comfort to many people who may have felt their loss was not considered as important as others.

Our only regret is that at present, the certificates are only available to those whose losses happened since September 1st 2018. However, the Department of Health and Social Care has promised that it will extend the scheme to earlier losses as soon as possible – and we’ll be pressing hard to make sure that happens.

Miscarriage Association National Director Ruth Bender Atik said: “For many, if not most people, even the earliest of losses can be deeply distressing, both emotionally and physically. It means the loss not only of this pregnancy but also of the hopes, plans and dreams that they had for this new life. And having no formal acknowledgement or marker of their loss can compound their grief.

“The new certification scheme will make a genuinely positive difference to many who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss, offering formal recognition of the tiniest of lives.

“We very much look forward to the scheme being extended to losses prior to September 2018 as soon as possible.”

The English certificate schemes follows the earlier roll-out of a memorial book and certificates in Scotland, launched last October. We understand the Welsh and Northern Irish governments are looking at introducing similar schemes, too.

If you would like to receive a certificate of your loss in England, click here or for losses in Scotland, click here. You can read more about other ways you may wish to mark your loss here.



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