If you choose to take the pregnancy remains away with you after treatment – it is important that you understand the following information.
You may take the fetal remains away at any gestation and regardless of treatment type and make your own arrangements for them. This may include arranging a private service, burial or cremation. If you wish to take the remains away, we will place them in a container, which is opaque (you cannot see through it) and water-tight. The fetal remains will be inserted into the container in a bag made of biodegradable material.
You may contact a funeral service yourself to arrange a service, burial or cremation, we can help you with this.
We will give the remains to a funeral director or an authorised individual appointed by you. Before the procedure the funeral director must provide a suitable container for the remains and after the procedure the funeral director must collect the remains. You will need to cover the costs of this service although some funeral directors offer it for free or a nominal charge.
If you would like some specialist help with the service, for instance from a Humanist adviser or a community faith leader, a funeral director should be able to provide you with a relevant contact. You can also contact a cemetery or crematorium directly.
You may bury the remains in your own garden or in another place which has a special meaning for you. Woodland or natural burial sites are available too (the Natural Death Centre can advise).
If you wish to bury the remains on private land, you need to know that:
If you intend to bury the remains in your garden, you should consider how you will feel if you move house, or if the land is used for a new purpose.
If you choose a communal cremation, no ashes are available afterwards. Because of the nature of the cremation process and the fragility of the pregnancy remains, there may be no ashes left after individual cremation either. If you feel that it is important to scatter ashes, you should discuss this with your funeral director or crematorium well before the cremation.
If you do have ashes, you can scatter or bury them:
You may scatter the ashes on water but not:
The clinic can provide you with advice and contact details of funeral directors, cemeteries or crematoria.
Other organisations and authorities which can offer advice include:
Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) - call: 020 7436 5881
National Association of Funeral Directors - call: 0845 230 1343
British Humanist Association (BHA) - call: 020 7324 3060
Natural Death Centre - call: 01962 712 690
Environment Agency - call: 03708 506 506