Frequently Asked Questions

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What does one do with the remains of a miscarried child?

In many instances of miscarriage, there no remains of the child readily available. In such cases, parents may then want to ask their pastor about the appropriate liturgical rites available to them (see "Rites and Commendations" for more information).

However, in the event that remains are available, it is recommended that the remains are kept cold in a suitable container until the day of burial. The parents may ask the doctor or hospital for the remains if they are not offered by the medical institution. Unfortunately, some medical institutions may not allow the remains to be given directly to the parents, but may insist on releasing the child to a funeral home.

If parents choose to retain the remains of their miscarried child, it is important to consider any additional costs if a funeral home is involved.

Parents are encouraged to contact their pastor for arrangement of the appropriate commendation rite and burial arrangements.

What about cremation?

The church permits cremation as long as it is not a statement of the denial in the resurrection of the body (Catechism of the Catholic Church § 2301). Cremated remains should be treated with the same dignity as a deceased body. In other words, cremated remains should have their final resting place in a grave or columbarium.

Where should remains be buried?

The remains, whether or not they are cremated, should be interred in a grave or columbarium. It is strongly advised that the remains be placed in a cemetery so that the dignity of the burial site can be properly protected.