Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Civil Registration Documentation
1109. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans in respect of the stillbirth register and stillbirth certification to be replaced with a birth certificate and death certificate in order that stillborn babies can receive State records of their existence in the same way as others; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2743/20]
I would like the Deputy to know that I appreciate the sensitivities relating to significant personal impacts in individual cases in this area. It is important that should any changes be made, we must ensure the continued integrity and robustness of the civil registration system, including the registers maintained under that system.
The registers that record vital life events are maintained in a manner consistent with international norms and ensure that the State’s obligations to keep proper population and public health statistics are fulfilled.
Should a child die, either shortly after birth, or at a later period, their death can be registered and a death certificate can be issued. Along with this the Oireachtas has also recognised the need for a separate register of stillbirths. This register was established to record the stillbirth of a child who had reached a gestational term of 24 weeks or weighs no less than 500 grammes and shows no signs of life at birth. This approach is in line with international practice.
Any further changes to the register would require consideration and approval from the Government.