In South Africa, stillbirths are a heartbreaking event that affects many families. According to a 2018 study, the stillbirth rate in South Africa was 21.3 per 1000 births. This means that for every 1000 births in South Africa, 21.3 babies are stillborn.


When a stillbirth occurs in South Africa, various steps must be taken to ensure that the family can properly grieve and that the baby is properly cared for. The first step is for the family to obtain a death certificate from a government office. This document is necessary to show that the baby has passed away and is necessary for any legal paperwork that may need to be filed. 


After a death certificate has been obtained, the family can then arrange for a funeral service to take place. In South Africa, the funeral service for a stillborn baby is usually a private affair. It is also not common for the baby to be buried in a cemetery or for the family to hold a memorial service. Instead, the body is usually cremated and the ashes are then buried or kept.


For some families, a stillborn baby may be given a birth certificate with the baby’s name and the date and time of the stillbirth. This is usually done at the discretion of the family and is not required by law. It is, however, a way for the family to memorialize the baby and for them to be able to remember the baby’s life.

What Do Hospitals Do with Stillborn Babies in South Africa?

Foetuses that die within 26 weeks of conception should not be buried, but rather disposed of as medical waste according to the Births and Deaths Registration Act.


Stillbirths are a heartbreaking event that affects many families in South Africa. The death of a baby is a traumatic experience and families must take steps to ensure that the baby can be properly remembered. Families can obtain a death certificate, arrange a funeral service, and may be able to obtain a birth certificate for the stillborn baby. 

Apply for an Unabridged Birth or Death Certificate in South Africa

Do you need to apply for legal documents, such as unabridged birth certificates or death certificates? Look no further than DocAssist’s team! Our professionals specialize in assisting South Africans in getting the documents they need, quickly and conveniently. Don’t go through the hassle of applying for these certificates at the DHA. Reach out to our team, and we will be more than happy to assist you in applying for or expediting your certificate. Give us a call today, and let us take care of the rest!


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