Certificate of Loss Bill (HL Bill 42)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision for a certificate to be issued to mothers in respect of
miscarried and still-born children not eligible for registration under the Births
and Deaths Registration Act 1953; to establish a database for archiving the
certificate and recording information about the miscarriage or still-birth; and
for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Voluntary certificate of loss

(1) The registrar must, upon receiving a written request from a person who has
miscarried a child or given birth to a still-born child, issue a certificate
(“certificate of loss”) to that person, where the miscarried or still-born child is
5not eligible to be registered under section 1 of the Births and Deaths
Registration Act 1953 (particulars of births to be registered) and the criterion in
subsection (2) is met.

(2) The criterion is that a medical professional has confirmed that the person who
requested a certificate was pregnant and miscarried that child or gave birth to
10a still-born child.

(3) The certificate of loss issued under subsection (1) must contain the following
information—

(a) if available, the age of the miscarried or still-born child, based on scans
and medical dating;

(b) 15the name of the parent or parents of the miscarried or still-born child;

(c) the date on which the child was miscarried or the still-born child was
born;

(d) any other information that the Secretary of State may by regulation
made by statutory instrument specify.

(4) 20The Secretary of State must, by regulations made by statutory instrument, set
up a publicly accessible database for archiving certificates of loss issued under
this section.

Certificate of Loss BillPage 2

(5) Where a person requests a certificate of loss under subsection (1), the registrar
must archive the certificate of loss, and record the cause of the miscarriage or
still-birth if the cause is known, in the database established under subsection
(4).

(6) 5The Secretary of State must, by regulations made by statutory instrument,
designate a body to fulfil the function of registrar under this section.

(7) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section may not be
made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a
resolution of, each House of Parliament.

2 10Interpretation

In this Act—

  • “miscarried child” means a child which, due to either natural causes or the
    mother’s choice, has passed away and been expelled by the mother’s
    body without any signs of life, or passed away and been retained by the
    15mother’s body and is then expelled by the mother’s body or removed
    by process of medication or surgery without signs of life, and the
    expressions “miscarriage” and “miscarried” shall be construed
    accordingly;

  • “still-born child” means a child which, due to either natural causes or the
    20mother’s choice, has issued forth from its mother after a pregnancy and
    which did not at any time after being completely expelled from its
    mother breathe or show any other signs of life, and the expression “still-
    birth” shall be construed accordingly;

  • “written request” in respect of a request for a certificate of loss, means a
    25request made in writing using a form submitted by the person who has
    miscarried a child or given birth to a still-born child to the registrar, and
    confirmed by a registered medical professional.

3 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales only.

(2) 30Section 1 of this Act comes into force at the end of the period of twelve months
beginning with the day on which it is passed.

(3) Section 2 and this section come into force on the day on which this Act is
passed.

(4) This Act may be cited as the Certificate of Loss Act 2017.