Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for Home Affairs whether the new digital birth certificates, which will be extended to stillborn children, will allow for the designation of a name for the stillborn child.
Mr K Shanmugam: Stillbirth registration does not provide for the official naming of the stillborn child. The registration process was designed this way for two reasons. First, names of stillborn children, like in abortions, are not required for the Government to administer public policies and programmes. Second, it allows the registration process to be fully automated without parents having to take any action. This is to alleviate any administrative burden while they may still be grieving. These improvements to the registration process for the public, and associated changes in ICA’s systems, were implemented in May this year, following the recent amendments to the Registration of Births and Deaths Act.
To change the current stillbirth registration process to include the name of a stillborn child will require further process and system changes. That said, MHA recognises that some parents may wish to name their stillborn children. We will study the feasibility and pros and cons, during our next review of the policy and process, including alternative options such as a commemorative birth certificate.
Thus far, the ICA has received only one request to do so.
Ministry of Home Affairs
12 September 2022