A Memorial Book for those who have experienced a pregnancy or baby loss prior to 24 weeks will be available this summer, the First Minister has confirmed.
Along with an entry in the book, those who have experienced a loss will be able to apply for a commemorative certificate which is intended to give recognition and comfort to those who want to record their loss. The service will be free of charge and completely voluntary.
Applications to have an entry included in the book, produced jointly by the Scottish Government and National Records of Scotland, will go live this summer.
Making the announcement, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“The loss of a pregnancy or a baby is always painful. I have spoken in the past about my personal experience of miscarriage, and I know the sense of grief will stay with me and my husband forever. I also know that we would have drawn comfort at the time if there had been a way for us to mark the loss and formally recognise the child we were grieving.
“Launching this Memorial Book with the National Records of Scotland will give parents an opportunity – if they wish it – to commemorate their loss with a physical record, and to have their child recognised.
“I am very proud to support the Memorial Book and hope that it will bring comfort to those experiencing the pain of baby loss. I also hope that might also help break the silence and stigma around the loss of a pregnancy or a baby that sadly still exists in our society”.
“We warmly welcome the development of Scotland’s new Memorial Book and optional certificate for those who have experienced a loss before 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Ruth Bender Atik from the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance said:
“Even the earliest of pregnancy losses can be deeply upsetting and the lack of any formal acknowledgement can add to that distress. We believe that for many people, the Memorial Book and certificate will provide great comfort and a validation that these tiny lives mattered.”
- Applications to record a pre 24 week loss in the Memorial Book will go live following the launch in Summer 2023.
- There is no statutory requirement to register the loss, and all information given is voluntarily.
- The loss must have taken place in Scotland, or applicants must reside in Scotland at the time of application.
- There is no requirement for applicants to submit medical evidence of the loss with the application and historical applications will be welcomed.
- More than one loss can be recorded by an applicant, with each one requiring a separate application.