Research into the disposal of fetal remains was carried out 1998 with the findings being disturbing. A large number of fetal remains were being disposed of as clinical waste with many crematoria refusing to deal with multiple disposal of these remains.

The ICCM policy is that the sensitive disposal of fetal remains through cemeteries and crematoria is more appropriate in a caring society.

The Institute has consulted with Sands on the recent review of its policy and guidance and had representation on the group formed in Scotland by the Scottish Parliament tasked with issuing guidance to hospital authorities.

The ICCM policy is now widely accepted and many cremation authorities have adopted it and are improving the standards of service to the parents of these babies by providing a sensitive means of disposal.

Whilst records indicate that approximately 40,000 foetuses are cremated in a sensitive way by the majority of crematoria there remains circa 100,000 that are unaccounted for. The number of burials of fetal remains is not known.

The Ministers for Scotland and England and Wales ordered a cessation of the clinical waste route for babies in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The Institute is particularly pleased with the actions of the Ministers as its first policy statement issued in 1985 was designed to stop the clinical waste route in favour of sensitive burial and cremation options.

Download the ICCM Policy for the Sensitive Disposal of Foetal Remains – Updated  September 2015 to reflect Sands .revised Position Statement.

The policy underwent review in conjunction with Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity in order to incorporate the recommendations of the Infant Cremation Commission in Scotland which the Institute welcomes.

Baby and Infant Cremations

Downloads of reports, guidance policy and Codes for Scotland, England and Wales

Published 9th December 2015 – National Committee Code of Practice.

Added 15th June 2015 – Infant Cremation Code of Practice issued by the National Committee , Scotland

Added 10th June 2015 – Guidance – When a Miscarriage occurs at Home. Formulated by The Miscarriage Association, Sands and ICCM.

Added 10th June 2015 – Shrewsbury Investigation Report. Download here.

Added 5th June 2015  Policy Statement for use by cremation authorities approved by the National Committee in Scotland. Note that cremation authorities in Scotland must inform the Inspector of Crematoria of any incidence of non recovery of ashes and include him in the subsequent review process (Cremation authorities in England and Wales that adopt the statement as best practice should omit the part referring to the Inspector)

Emstrey Report May 2015

Infant Cremation Commission Report June 2014 (pdf version)

Mortonhall Report April 2014

National Committee on Infant Cremation website.

National Investigation website – Scotland

Sensitive Disposal of Fetal Remains Revised September 2015 with the kind assistance of Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

Baby and Infant Funerals Policy and Guidance
Revised September 2015 with the kind assistance of Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

Guiding Principles – Charter for the Bereaved
Updated November 2014

Newsletter – Definition of Ashes and Cremated Remains – July 2014

Baby and Infant Cremations – INITIAL guidance July 2014

CTTS Review embraces Commission recommendation in respect of Baby and Infant cremations.

Charter for the Bereaved Assessment Process. A new section relating to baby and infant cremations has been added. View the questions here.

Practice Guidance – Issued by the Working Group Scotland November 2014

Questions People Ask about Burial and Cremation (Updated December 2014)

Diploma – Crematorium Management Unit review. Upgrade your accredited qualification to include specifics relating to baby and infant cremation.
(Included for those enrolling from December 2014)

Infant Cremation Commission Scotland dedicated webpage