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Petition: Birth certificates for babies stillborn after 16 weeks

(35 Posts)
throwingpebbles Wed 18-Jan-17 18:09:47

A friend has just shared this petition. I was really moved by her story and those of others who were commenting.
They are asking for babies born sleeping after 16 weeks to have birth certificates. Many mothers commenting have said that they wish their baby could have had a birth certificate

petition.parliament.uk/petitions/177460

throwingpebbles Wed 18-Jan-17 20:03:05

Cheeky bump smile

GinIsIn Wed 18-Jan-17 20:08:28

I'm so sorry but I can't sign it - the issuing of a birth certificate would also require the filling out of a death certificate and the potential for inquest etc. - it's a traumatic process and I am not sure adding it on top of existing trauma would truly help.

insan1tyscartching Wed 18-Jan-17 20:13:54

I can't sign either sorry and I speak as someone who lost a baby at 21 weeks. It would, for me, prolong the agony.

CremeBrulee Wed 18-Jan-17 20:16:19

But then the grieving parents would be legally required to register the birth. This would surely be extremely upsetting for the majority of bereaved parents, especially as they would be extremely likely to attend the registry at the same time as those registering their newborns.

I can see the need for something to mark the birth and that the baby existed but I think issuing birth certificates in their current form opens up many thorny issues.

noeuf Wed 18-Jan-17 20:16:49

Why 16 weeks? I could understand a reduction due to the increase in viability of premature babies (horrid term, sorry) but that's very early?

Soubriquet Wed 18-Jan-17 20:18:07

Sorry but at 16 weeks it's not viable anyway.

It's not a still birth it's a miscarriage

throwingpebbles Wed 18-Jan-17 20:21:17

That's fair enough, it's not my petition but reading the stories some of the mum's felt very strongly that it would have helped /did help. So I wanted to share in case anyway else felt the same way. But i totally understand that it's not straightforward flowers

AyeAmarok Wed 18-Jan-17 20:21:41

I agree that the practicalities of this change would be very difficult for a lot of parents.

Why 16 weeks, specifically?

Emily7708 Wed 18-Jan-17 20:24:04

No sorry I don't agree with this petition at all, and have had late miscarriages myself.

FishInAWetSuitAndFlippers Wed 18-Jan-17 20:28:15

Having to register both the birth and death of my daughter at the same time was one of the most traumatic things I have ever done.

Even though she was born full term and lived for 2 weeks, finding the official cause of death was a hideous process.

I can't see how they can do that to issue death certificates to babies born at 16 weeks, which would need to happen if birth certificates were issued.

I can fully understand why your friend feels as she does, but there's a lot more to it than she realises it seems.

timeisnotaline Wed 18-Jan-17 20:32:54

It's a miscarriage until there's at least a chance the baby could survive outside the womb. I'm sure the number of weeks at which this is possible will continue to decrease (although I don't know how far) but it's not 16 weeks. I don't want to minimise anyone's pain, they have had a traumatic miscarriage but they haven't had a stillbirth.

3littlebadgers Wed 18-Jan-17 20:34:53

My dd2 was stillborn at full term. We had to register her stillbirth. I shook and sobbed through the whole meeting. They were very sensitive and kept me away from new parents once inside, but I saw them outside. It broke my heart and made a difficult time even harder.

I since registered the birth of ds3. The memories of registering dd2 haunted me and I was in bits. It forever changed me. I am sorry but I can't sign sadflowers

Blacksox Wed 18-Jan-17 20:36:12

I disagree with this entirely, sorry.

VintagePerfumista Wed 18-Jan-17 20:38:43

Agree with others, sorry. It's not a stillbirth at 16 weeks.

Disastronaut Wed 18-Jan-17 20:38:46

With the greatest respect to those who have suffered later miscarriages and stillbirths, this proposal would be highly problematic in relation to the legal abortion time limit of 24 weeks. Any move to bestow legal 'personhood' on a 16 week old foetus would have grave consequences for women's bodily autonomy.

SexTrainGlue Wed 18-Jan-17 20:38:48

Presumably a birth certificate for pregnancies terminated after 16weeks too?

No, sorry, I do not support this proposal, given the interplay of abortion laws, legal viability and other related definitions.

Pallisers Wed 18-Jan-17 20:40:38

I disagree too - sorry. Apart from the emotional trauma for the parents, I also think it has the potential to impact on abortion rights.

FrankAndBeans Wed 18-Jan-17 20:40:55

As someone who had a loss at 16 weeks, nope, this is all kinds of wrong. I understand a want for acknowledgement but that could be achieved through a non legal process.

LineysRun Wed 18-Jan-17 20:43:28

I was asked to sign a petition referring to a 20 week marker, but I won't, because of that interplay of abortion rights that SexTrainGlue alludes to, and the reservations of earlier posters on this thread.

ThoraGruntwhistle Wed 18-Jan-17 20:46:57

I am so sorry for your friends loss, and of course for everyone else who has experienced similar losses but I have to agree with the previous posters, 16 weeks is not a stillbirth.

3littlebadgers, fish and anyone else posted above flowersflowers

BratFarrarsPony Wed 18-Jan-17 20:49:03

they are not 'born sleeping' at 16 weeks , they are miscarriages.

M00N Wed 18-Jan-17 20:50:14

No. I can't sign this either - it's not what a birth certificate is about.

FrankAndBeans Wed 18-Jan-17 20:51:05

I will say people could be more sensitive on this thread with their language. If someone wants to call their second trimester miscarriage a baby born sleeping then that's their prerogative, don't be a fucking dick about it.

Blueroses99 Wed 18-Jan-17 21:02:06

Going against the grain here but I would have liked a birth certificate for my son born sleeping at 21 weeks. I hate that he never legally existed when I have photos, hand and footprints, held him and even arranged his funeral. I find the term miscarriage upsetting and refer to him as stillborn because he was still born.

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