Since you’ve found your way here,you’re probably either a newly bereaved parent, a family member or friend of newly bereaved parents, or a health professional caring for bereaved parents. The moments and days after a baby’s heart stops beating are often blurred by shock, fear and grief for all involved. And yet, there are also a series of time-sensitive choices that bereaved parents have to make in the days after their baby dies.
This site was created to inform bereaved families and the family, friends and health professionals who support them of the option for families to bring their stillborn or deceased baby home for time with the family and/ or a home funeral. We’re not promoting this option as “the right way”. There is no one “right way” to respond to the death of a baby. Each bereaved parent/ couple is unique and has a unique relationship with their baby, and the story, context and meaning of their baby’s death is unique. The decision that feels right for you, as a bereaved parent, is the right decision.
Families all over the world used to be much more involved in caring for their dead, and delivering deceased babies at home or bringing them home from the hospital is still commonly practiced in some parts of the world. But in other parts of the world, the professionalization of birth and death, together with the modern Western culture of death denial has resulted in this option being pathologized as “weird”, and misinformation and fears about bringing deceased babies home have been perpetuated. Even though the option to bring your stillborn or deceased baby home is legal in almost all US states and most countries around the world, the option is often not offered to bereaved parents, so many bereaved parents aren’t aware that it’s a choice they could make.
The aim of this site is simply to provide frank, relevant, accessible, and medically correct information about the option to bring your stillborn or deceased baby home for family time and/or a home funeral, so that more bereaved parents and the families, friends and health professionals who support them are aware of this option and can make the decisions that feel right for them.
We’ve created the following resources about the option to bring your stillborn or deceased baby home, for you to learn from and share:
- A series of free pamphlets answering commonly asked questions about the option to bring your stillborn or deceased baby home. You may download and print these pamphlets and share them in any way, so long as they remain unaltered.
- A series of short videos and articles from bereaved parents who chose to bring their stillborn or deceased babies home, so that you can get a sense of what this option might look and feel like.
- A page of additional relevant resources – books, films, short videos, and articles about the option to bring your stillborn or deceased baby home and/ or hold a home funeral.
- A page of grief support resources around the world.
- A list of the professionals who’ve contributed to this site, many of whom are available to present educational workshops on the option to bring stillborn or deceased babies home.
We are aware that parental bereavement is often co-opted into the abortion debate. Please note that this website is NOT aligned with anti-abortion politics. We know that parenting journeys are often painfully complicated and we wish to promote and support the rights of all parents to have full access to information about all of their options in relation to the birth and death of their children so that they can make the parenting choices that they believe are right for their families.