Child Loss & Grief

How to request a baby loss certificate: what you’ll need and where to start

Jessie Day  |   3 Apr 2024


One month on from the launch of the government’s new scheme, we’ve put together a signposting guide to applying for a baby loss certificate – also referred to as miscarriage certificate – and what to know before starting the process. 

Editor’s note: The scheme is currently only open to parents who lost their baby since 1 September 2018, which will be disappointing for many who (like me) had miscarriages or losses before this date. But, it looks like an extension is in the planning, so we’ll keep you up-to-date.

We’ll post any news on the scheme here, and please DM on our Insta account if you have any questions. Loss and miscarriage are a shared experience for us here at team TRB, and we’re a safe space for any thoughts from our amazing community. 

How do I request my certificate?

Get started with the government’s online form – it might be helpful to read through the scheme’s background and launch information too. Certificates are free, and completely optional – you don’t need to request one, if you’d prefer not to. 

The baby loss certificate scheme is designed for parents who lost a baby in pregnancy, before 24 weeks. If your pregnancy ends from 24 weeks onwards, you’ll need to register a stillbirth instead

Is the baby loss certificate a legal document?

No, the baby loss or miscarriage certificate isn’t a legal document, or paperwork, so can’t be used to claim benefits, for example, and it won’t be added to your GP record. 

It’s intended as a form of support for parents, to formally recognise the loss of a baby during pregnancy and deliver on priorities and recommendations set out in recent review. 

Do I need anything when I apply?

Once you’re ready to request your baby loss certificate – and remember, they’re entirely optional – make sure you’ve got these things to hand: 

  • your NHS number (find yours here) or post code (the one registered with your GP) 
  • your mobile phone number or email address (registered with your GP) 
  • permission from your baby’s other parent and their email address, if you’d like their name to be on the certificate

You don’t need to provide any ‘proof’ of your miscarriage or loss, or access to your medical notes. For example, if you had a miscarriage at home and don’t have any medical record, you can still request a certificate. 

request-a-baby-loss-certificate

Who can request a certificate?

The scheme is currently open to parents where all of these apply:

  • you lost your baby before the 24th week of pregnancy
  • you’re the baby’s parent or surrogate
  • you’re aged 16 or over
  • your miscarriage or loss was on or after 1 September 2018
  • you were living in England when you lost your baby
  • you live in England

If you’ve lost more than one pregnancy, you can apply for a miscarriage certificate where all of these apply, for each loss.

What if my loss was before September 2018?

The scheme is very recently launched, and currently only open to those who’ve had a miscarriage or loss since 1 September 2018. However, the government have confirmed that they’re ‘looking to expand eligibility for certificates pre-dating September 2018 as soon as we can’.

What will my certificate look like?

You should receive your certificate in the post, up to 14 days after you’ve made your request online.

It can help to know what your certificate might look like, before you open it.

Each certificate sets out the details of your loss, headed Under 24 weeks gestation, and the issuing government department.

Your certificate will also confirm:

  • certificate reference number
  • date of issue
  • parent or surrogate name(s) and surname(s)
  • your baby’s name (this is optional)
  • your baby’s sex (if known)
  • date and place of loss (if known)

The certificate closes with some information covering self-declaration.

If you’d like your certificate in a different format or need help with your request, you can email babylosscertificate@nhsbsa.nhs.uk or call 0300 330 9445.

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