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Patients & Families

Rights of Parents and Baby

Rights of Parents When a Baby Dies

  • To be given the chance to see, hold and touch their baby at any time before and/or after death, within reason
  • To have photos of their baby taken and made available or held in security until they wish to see them
  • To be given as many keepsakes as possible, such as the crib card, baby beads, ultrasound/or other photos, lock of hair, foot and handprints, and records of weight and length
  • To name their child and bond with him or her
  • To observe cultural and religious practices
  • To be looked after by a caring staff who will respect their feelings, thoughts, beliefs and requests
  • To be with each other while in the hospital as much as possible
  • To have time alone with their baby
  • To ask for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. In the case of miscarriage, to ask to have or not have an autopsy or other exam as determined by law
  • To have information presented in words they understand about their baby’s status and cause of death, including autopsy and other reports and medical records
  • To plan a farewell ritual, burial or cremation while honoring local and state regulations, along with their personal beliefs, and religious and cultural traditions
  • To be given information about resources to help in the healing process, such as support groups, counselors, reading materials and perinatal loss newsletters  


Your Baby’s Rights

  • To be recognized as a person who was born and died
  • To be named
  • To be seen, touched, and held by the family
  • To be put to rest with dignity


Adapted from the resource developed by: The Perinatal Bereavement Team at Women’s College, Toronto, Ontario, 1987.