Fermanagh couple support baby loss certificate calls

A BEREAVED Fermanagh father feels that the implementation of baby loss certificates could help parents through their grief.

A baby that dies after 24 weeks is officially recorded as a stillbirth. Despite significant and increasing calls from parents, there is no such formal recognition for babies lost earlier than 24 weeks.

After appeals from support groups and politicians, there’s now growing optimism that the Northern Ireland Executive will consider implementing the new scheme in the North.


Eddie and Emma Roofe’s first-born son Peter died at 41 weeks. The couple were left heartbroken and they feel that legal recognition helped them with their grief.

“As someone who lost a child at 41 weeks, while the loss was devastating, there was a recognised level of support,” Mr Roofe told the Herald.

“My wife [Emma] and I were able to have a funeral and burial and have a legal death certificate.

“Miscarriage and other types of pre 24 weeks baby loss are often minimised and treated as a ‘clinical event’ or ‘just one of those things’ rather than the loss of a baby.

“Sadly the emotional impact of the loss is often disregarded,” he added.

Mr Roofe, pictured below, who raised £18,865.50 for SANDS [The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity] in 2022, feels that a baby loss certificate would be a major boost to grieving families.

“Since speaking out and raising funds for the charity SANDS and also simply raising awareness, I have been approached by many parents who experienced loss at various stages and their grief is as real and painful as anyone else’s,” he said.


“It is my hope that this certificate will assist them and any other families on their grief journey.”

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