What to Do When a Child Dies?

Dealing with the death of a child is a devastating experience for any parent. Having to comprehend the loss as well as arranging the funeral and associated costs makes this time even more traumatic. We’re here to give guidance and support every step of the way.

What to do next

If the pregnancy loss is before the 24th week of gestation, the hospital will issue the mother with a Certificate of Medical Practitioner or Registered Midwife. There is no formal registration process if this is the case, but we need this form for the funeral to take place.

If the pregnancy loss is after the 24th week of gestation or the baby is before 24 weeks gestation but has taken a breath, then the hospital will issue the mother with a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, or a Medical Certificate of Stillbirth.

In this instance, the mother will need to attend the registrars within 21 days to register the death.  The registrar will issue a Certificate of Registration that needs to be provided to us for the funeral to take place.

There is more information regarding registering a death, including some of the contact details for local registry offices, in our booklet Your Guide to Arranging a Funeral.


We provide as much support as possible to parents following a bereavement and as part of this commitment, the services we offer are ‘free’ of charge up to the age of 18 years old.

Our Infant and Child Funerals guidance explains what is included in our services.

In Scotland, there are no cremation or burial fees from a Council crematoria or cemetery for registered children under the age of 18. Also some private crematoria and cemeteries do not charge for services for under 18’s.

You may need to pay additional costs for services provided by third parties, these can include:

How we can help you personalise your service

You can choose to add any additional services to the funeral such as:

Charities and organisations that can offer support

There are various charities and organisations available that support families dealing with the tragic loss of a child.

Child Bereavement UK (Scotland) – This website has a lot of information on individual support groups in local areas that can help if you require support, counselling or just someone to talk to, whatever you are going through.  They can also be contacted by phone on 0800 02 888 40


The website can be accessed by individual area and include contact details for various different regional charities that may be able to provide specialist care.

We also support Cruse Bereavement Scotland in the important work they do providing professional support for bereaved adults, children and families across Scotland.

You can contact Cruse Bereavement Scotland on 0808 802 6161 (calls are free) available Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and weekends 10am to 2pm.

Some other organisations who maybe able to provide support are;

Miscarriage Association is another useful resource for support:


Please contact us on 0800 996 1927 we’re here to assist you in any way we can. Our experienced funeral arrangers will guide and support you through the arrangements every step of the way.