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Chile take 'step towards a more humane society' with law allowing naming of stillborn babies

In an emotional ceremony in Santiago, President Sebastián Piñera of Chile passed a law today enabling parents to name stillborn children before burying them.

Previously, Chilean stillbirths could not be registered in the Civil Registry, and they were buried as unidentified persons.

"We are taking a step towards a more humane society," the president said after signing the new law.

He was addressing an audience that included a number of parents who lost their children during birth.

Under the slogan, "Your name is my memory", the stillbirth law will allow the creation of a national registry of stillborn babies.

The registry will allow parents to document the name, surname and sex of their deceased babies.

The Minister of Justice, Hernán Larraín, said the rule would be retroactive, allowing parents who lost their children in the past to register and name their stillborn children.

In Chile, foetal death is considered when death occurs after week 20 of pregnancy or a weight of 500 grams.

Prior to this, it is considered a miscarriage.

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At an emotional ceremony, a law was passed for Chileans to register and name their stillborn babies before burial. Source: Associated Press