15 October 2021

Early pregnancy loss to be recognised in the ACT through commemorative certificates

| Max O'Driscoll
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Tara Cheyne MLA

Tara Cheyne MLA welcomes the new commemorative Early Pregnancy Loss Certificates in the ACT. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

People who suffer a miscarriage in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy can now arrange commemorative certificates as part of a new ACT Government initiative.

Stillbirths – miscarriages that occur beyond week 20 of pregnancy – are recognised with birth certificates, but there has previously been no formal commemoration for miscarriages during the first 20 weeks of gestation.

Importantly, the new Early Pregnancy Loss Certificates will be available to historical cases as well so any ACT parent who suffered a miscarriage in the past can also apply for a certificate.

Coinciding with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day today (Friday, 15 October) ACT Minister for Human Rights Tara Cheyne said the certificates are a way of recognising the magnitude of loss to miscarriages and their impact on the ACT community.

“A loss of a loved and wanted pregnancy can be so heartbreaking and traumatic for parents, and for many bereaved families it is important to recognise that loss,” said Ms Cheyne.

Four designs for commemorative Early Pregnancy Loss Certificates

The four designs for the commemorative Early Pregnancy Loss Certificates. Designs at top by Kayannie Denigan; design at bottom left by Rebecca Tregurtha; design at bottom right by Till Heike. Photo: Access Canberra.

“From today [Friday, 15 October], the ACT is also proud to begin offering an early pregnancy loss certificate, which may help parents in the grieving process.

“I hope these certificates will provide some support and comfort to parents.”

There are currently four certificate designs available to select from (pictured above).

ACT mother Bonnie Carter, who lost two daughters during pregnancy, expects the certificates will be a source of comfort for families who suffer an early pregnancy loss.

READ ALSO: ACT becomes first jurisdiction to specifically outlaw ‘stealthing’

“Early pregnancy loss is a silent and lonely place for women and their families so I hope the new certificates will also help break that silence and encourage people to talk about these devastating losses,” she said.

“On a personal level, I will feel more peace as all my children will now be recognised through either birth certificates or an early pregnancy loss certificate.”

Early Pregnancy Loss Certificates are now available via application through Access Canberra. It is expected 80 per cent of certificate applications will be processed within 15 days, not including delivery times.

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