Earlier this week, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews posted that parents in his state, who have experienced early pregnancy loss, could now apply for a commemorative certificate from Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria.
Andrews said “Around one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage before 20 weeks. It’s not something that’s talked about much – nor is it formally recognised as either a birth or death. And those who’ve experienced early pregnancy loss often find themselves dealing with it alone, with no real way of expressing their grief. This won’t be everyone’s choice. But hopefully it’ll help bereaved parents mourn the child they never got to meet.”
It made us realise, through the comments of South Australians that we personally know, that a lot of people in SA didn’t know if that was something available in our State.
We’ve since discovered that parents can apply for a certificate to commemorate an early loss of pregnancy if the delivery isn’t able to be registered under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996.
To qualify for a certificate, the following conditions must be met (which are outlined on the SA Gov website here):
- less than 20 weeks’ gestation – a letter from your doctor or midwife (doc template) needs to be included when you apply (this letter can also be used to arrange burial or cremation).
- more than 20 weeks gestation and isn’t able to be registered under the Act – your doctor will have lodged a medical certificate with Consumer and Business Services (CBS) and a letter isn’t needed when you apply.
How to apply
1. Application form
Choose a certificate design, then complete and sign the form – Apply for an early loss of pregnancy certificate (PDF).
Post your application to:
Births, Deaths and Marriages
Consumer and Business Services
GPO Box 1351
Adelaide SA 5001
There is no charge for a commemorative certificate for an early loss of pregnancy.
The processing time for a certificate is normally about five weeks.
You can choose either:
- commemorative certificate only
- standard plus a commemorative certificate.