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Documentation after a death

Delivery day

The following information will guide you in collecting the documentation you need and filling out the necessary forms after the death of your baby.

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Live birth certificate

When the baby shows signs of life at birth, a live birth certificate is issued. This document requires the signature of a parent.

If this is the case for you, your nurse will give you a copy on the back of which is the information you will need in order to fill out a Declaration of Live Birth form for the Québec Register of Civil Status. This step is mandatory and must be done by the parents. The Declaration of Live Birth form must be sent within 30 days of the birth. You will have the choice to do it:

  1. At home, online
    There may be a few weeks before the death of your baby is registered. It is therefore possible to receive a baby’s health insurance card and even QPIP (Québec Parental Insurance Plan) benefits (which will then be claimed). You can keep the health insurance card as a memento of your baby.
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  2. At the hospital, with a paper form
    If you wish to complete the birth declaration via a paper form, your nurse will help you complete these papers before the end of your hospitalization. Using this method, you will not receive a health insurance card for your baby or benefits. Be sure to write “Deceased” on pages 2 and 3 of the birth certificate.

For any questions regarding these administrative procedures, you can contact the CHU Sainte-Justine Admission Department at 514 345-4931, extension 4984.


The death certificate

When a baby dies shortly after birth, a Death Certificate is issued. Funeral services will take care of the necessary steps with the register of civil status. This document does not require any signature from parents and no copies will be given to you.

If you would like to obtain a certificate or a copy of your baby’s death certificate, visit the website of the Register of Civil Status to find out how to request this document.

Death and stillbirth certificate

Question addressed in this video:

  • What is a stillbirth?


Certificate of stillbirth

When a baby is born without signs of life and weighs more than 500 grams, a stillbirth certificate is issued. This document requires the signature of a parent and the Hospital is responsible for sending the document to the Register of Civil Status. No copy will be given to you.

When a baby is born without signs of life and weighs less than 500 grams, no document is issued so no information needs to be sent to the Register of Civil Status.

You can contact the CHU Sainte-Justine Medical Records Department at 514 345-4627 to receive proof of your baby’s death:

  • Certificate of stillbirth (produced by CHU Sainte-Justine)
  • or
  • Copy of the Certificate of Stillbirth


Funeral arrangements

You can consult the brochure Planning your child’s funeral arrangements (version française) to learn about the different options available to you for the disposition of your baby’s body.

During your hospital stay, your nurse will give you a form entitled Disposition of the body of a child under one year old by CHU Sainte-Justine that you will have to complete to indicate what you would like done.

You have 10 days after delivery to take the time to think about it and communicate your decision.

A special funeral benefit may be granted by the Québec government to a person whose resources are insufficient to pay these expenses.1 For more information on provincial government programs and services, visit the Services Québec page.

1 Services Québec. (2019). Special Benefit for Funeral Expenses. Found at: www4.gouv.qc.ca

Video

Funerals

Questions addressed in this video:

  • Is it possible to plan a funeral for a baby?
  • What are the options for the disposition of the baby’s body?
  • How long do parents have to choose what they want to do with their baby’s body?
  • How is the burial done?
  • How can the baby’s siblings get involved at the funeral?

The disposition of the body

Questions addressed in this video:

  • Can we see the baby’s body one last time at the funeral home?
  • What is done with the baby’s ashes?
  • How do you obtain the ashes?
  • What are the legalities related to ashes?
  • Jewelry that can contain ashes.
  • Biodegradable urns.
  • Is the baby buried in a regular adult lot in a cemetery?
  • Is there a minimum weight required for a baby to be buried in a graveyard?
  • Do you have to bury the baby’s body in a cemetery?


Eligibility for parental leave

Maternity leave (19 weeks and one day or more)1

Gestational age (the number of weeks of the pregnancy) will be confirmed by your doctor. This can vary depending on the ultrasound.

If the loss of your baby occurred after 19 weeks according to the date of the last menstrual period, the mother is entitled to a maternity leave and will receive a financial benefit from the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) as follows:

  • 70% of salary for 18 weeks
  • or
  • 75% of salary for 15 weeks

If you are self-employed, you are also entitled to maternity leave according to certain eligibility criteria.

You can apply for benefits and find more information from the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan by phone at 1-888-610-7727 or online at www.rqap.gouv.qc.ca/en.


Medical certificate of incapacity for work (19 weeks or less)1

According to labour standards, you are entitled to a special maternity leave of three weeks if you are not entitled to income from the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP). If you are employed, ask your employer if salary insurance applies to you.

If no financial compensation is possible, you are eligible for Employment Insurance benefits after two weeks of absence from work if you meet the eligibility criteria (if you have accumulated 600 hours of work in the 52 weeks preceding the birth of the baby). The Employment Insurance telephone number is 1-800-206-7218.

If after these three weeks, you need to extend your leave, you must consult your family doctor who, after an assessment, will be able to give you a medical certificate attesting to the need to continue your leave.

Please contact the secretary of the obstetrics and gynecology clinic at 514-345-4705 if you need additional information or forms to fill out (fees will be required for the forms, since this service is not covered by the Quebec Health Insurance Plan Board).


Medical certificate of incapacity for work for the other parent1

The Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP) does not provide leave for the other parent when a baby dies. Before leaving the hospital, the nurse will give the other parent a medical certificate of incapacity for work signed by the doctor (usually for 2 weeks or more depending on the needs of the other parent).

If they have a job, the other parent must check with their employer if salary insurance applies. In the event that the other parent is unable to return to work, we suggest that they make an appointment with their family doctor (or at a walk-in clinic, if necessary) to request a medical certificate attesting to the need to extend the leave.

1 Belleau, J. (2006). Admissibilité à un congé suite à la perte de votre bébé (Eligibility for leave after the loss of your baby). Montréal: CHU Sainte-Justine.

Video

Questions addressed in this video:

  • What are the different pregnancy leaves available for the mother?
  • Can the other parent take a leave?

About this page
Updated on 11/26/2019
Created on 11/7/2019
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