The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will study the feasibility of allowing the designation of a name for a stillborn child in the new digital birth certificate, Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam wrote in a written reply on Sep. 12.
He was responding to Workers’ Party Member of Parliament (MP) Jamus Lim’s Parliamentary Question on allowing the designation of a name for the stillborn child on the new digital birth certificate.
Some parents may wish to name their stillborn children
Shanmugam wrote that MHA recognises that some parents may wish to name their stillborn children.
“To change the current stillbirth registration process to include the name of a stillborn child will require further process and system changes,” he added.
Shanmugam noted that MHA will study the feasibility and pros and cons, during the next review of the policy and process, including alternative options such as a commemorative birth certificate.
Only one request so far
He also shared that so far, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has received only one request to do so.
According to ICA, a stillbirth in Singapore will be automatically registered once a doctor certifies the stillbirth online.
After the doctor has certified the stillbirth online, parents will have to download the digital stillbirth certificate at My Legacy website within 30 days.
There is no need for the parents to register a stillbirth at a registration counter.
Some changes needed if it does happen
In his written reply, Shanmugam laid out two reasons why stillbirth registration currently does not provide for the official naming of the stillborn child.
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,” Shanmugam wrote.
Top image via Francis Kok/Google Maps