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The loss of a baby (regardless of its gestation stage or age) is usually a very sad and emotionally challenging time.

When a pregnancy ends prematurely, with the loss of a baby of at least 20 weeks’ gestation or if the period of gestation cannot be reliably estimated and the child has a body mass weight of at least 400 grams at birth, the NSW Births Deaths and Marriages Act refers to the baby as a still born child.


Regrettably, with less than 20 weeks gestation, technically the Act does not regard the baby as a child.  

Regardless of the gestation period, the remains of premature babies can be cremated.

To enable the cremation of a still born child to occur an Application needs to be made to a medical referee (see clause 80 of the NSW Public Health Regulation) by a nearest surviving relative of the child or other proper person.  Once approved, that  Application would need to be presented to the crematorium operator, along with any other documentation that a crematorium may require.

Where the gestation period is less than 20 weeks, a crematorium can still cremate those remains. The crematorium involved would provide guidance on the documentation it requires to enable the cremation to proceed.

Regardless of the gestation period, it is likely that there may be only a small amount or possibly even no remains after cremation occurs.

Many cemeteries and crematoria have special sections for placing babies and children.  Contact your chosen cemetery or crematoria for advice.

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