Burial After a Stillbirth

After the delivery of a stillborn baby, and in some cases before or during a stillbirth, the hospital will give you a form to complete regarding the various options for burial of your baby. Therefore, it is important that you be aware of your rights and make a decision that you are comfortable with. You can request to postpone the signing of the form until after the stillbirth. The hospital is required to provide you with all information about the burial of a stillborn baby and your rights.

In Israel the burial of a stillborn baby comes under the auspices of religious institutions – Jewish babies burials are taken care of by the Hevra Kadisha, Christian and Muslim babies by their respective religious institutions.

Families are given the choice to either:

  • take care of the burial themselves
  • have the Chevra Kadisha take care of the burial
  • have the Chevra Kadisha take care of the burial but be notified where the baby is buried
  • have the Chevra Kadisha take care of the burial and be present at the burial

Jewish families can choose to be involved with the burial or not. They can also request information regarding the location if not present at the burial. If you do not know where your baby was buried or are missing any details and are concerned or apprehensive about contacting the hospital or Hevra Kadisha, there is an organization named Itim that will assist you in locating your baby’s gravesite. They can be reached on: 1700-500-507. You can also contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

Burial by Hevra Kadisha is performed without a funeral. The baby is given a name by the Hevra Kadisha unless a parent is present to provide a name for the baby. A brit milah is performed for boys before burial.

For Muslim families, the tradition is to bath the baby a short time after birth or death. This will be carried out by the family or by the midwife. The baby is covered in a white shroud and taken for a funeral and burial the same or next day.

For Christian families, the parish priest will assist in caring for the baby and taking them for their funeral and burial. In cases where there is a concern that a baby may die soon after birth, the priest may arrive for the birth to perform a baptism immediately after the live birth.

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Candles of Hope offers a range of support services that respond to the evolving needs of the Israeli community. If you want to talk over the phone, by email or in person, you can share your story knowing that we will listen and respond with empathy and in confidence.

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