Jodie Tangikara holds precious the ashes of her fifth child Marcus and the knitted bed that he would have fitted in.
Jodie Tangikara holds precious the ashes of her fifth child Marcus and the knitted bed that he would have fitted in. Valerie Horton

Mum’s stillbirth petition knocked back but she will fight on

THE Queensland Government will not allow babies stillborn before 20 weeks to be recognised with a birth certificate despite a petition from River Heads mum Jodie Tangikara.

She started the petition in April after the stillbirth of her son Marcus at 19 weeks and five days.

The petition, which gained more than 3000 signatures, called for stillbirths at 16 weeks to be registered.

In a response to the petition tabled in State Parliament, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said any change to existing laws may put pressure on parents who lost a baby at less than 20 weeks.

"This may exacerbate the distress or grief for some parents because not all parents may desire or find comfort in the capacity to register or formally recognise an early pregnancy loss," he said.

Mr Bleijie also said a change would make Queensland inconsistent with the rest of Australia.

He said he had instructed the Registrar-General of the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry to consider if there any non-legislative actions that could be taken.

A disappointed Ms Tangikara said Mr Bleijie's response was a brush-off.

She said while Births, Deaths and Marriages was now creating a certificate for stillbirths before 20 weeks, it would not recognise them as babies.

Ms Tangikara said she would continue to fight to have the law changed.



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