Unofficial Burial

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Burying your baby who was born not alive, in a place other than an official cemetary, may be a choice for you, if in compliance with your local laws.

Contacting your local funeral homes, vital statistics or registrars offices may provide some insight into your legal options.  This part of the journey can seem very overwhelming.  It’s OK to ask a lot of questions and to ask other people in other departments for clarification.

It is very important to know what your local laws are regarding infant burial of any age.

Legal information (by state):

Other tips:

  • Consider hiring an SBD Chaplain, who can help navigate this journey with you.
  • Understand Green Burial and your rights and options by location.
  • Know your laws.  This is repeated here again from above, for your own benefit.  While researching laws, you may encounter resources that can provide financial or other assistance that might otherwise seem a factor in your journey.
  • Learn key words.  Fetal remains disposition and parental rights of sepulcher and embalming/refrigeration requirements and  understanding the difference between state law and local hospital policy are important places to research.  Regarding refrigeration, seek specifically the timeframe required after time of birth (embalming is not required), the temperature involved, and what options you might safely utilize to make this happen in  your unique circumstances.  It may seem impossible to learn these things in the timeframe you have and in the emotions you may be experiencing.  Go slow.  Ask those helping you to repeat themselves.  Seek more support.  You are not alone.
  • Consider the place of burial.  Burying your baby in your backyard may prove to become an issue if you move to a new home at a later time.
  • Dig deep, below the frost line.  This could be up to 6 feet deep, or at least 3 feet deep with the use of mulch or compost surrounding your baby.
  • Before digging, make sure there are no underground electric wires or gas lines.
  • Consider using a secure, waterproof, sealed box (strong gluing the seam).
  • Consider adding lime powder (calcium hydroxide) at the bottom of the hole and about 1 cup on top of the casket/urn, to deter predatorial digging.  Lime can be purchased at most hardware or livestock feed stores.
  • Consider placing a metal object between where your baby is layed and the ground surface, so that a metal detector may warn others in the future to be careful digging in that area.

Purchasing special burial items.  Here are a couple of ideas:


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