When does your baby become family?
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For the sake of my argument I am going to use my experience as an example.
I am a grieving mother who lost her beautiful baby boy at 19 weeks pregnant. It was the hardest experience, emotionally and physically, I have ever had to go through - being in labour and knowing there wouldn't be a happy outcome, Yet, I wasn't entitled to the full 3 days paid bereavement leave. I got paid one day which was at the discretion of my employer. Why? Because legally (in New Zealand) a baby who hasn't reached 20 weeks gestation isn't classed as an immediate family member.
I disagree with this completely and this issue needs to be addressed. My partner was paid the full three days; it shouldn't be at the discretion of the employer. This doesn't seem fair and it needs to change by law.
Although I would like to see more support for all women who lose a baby at any stage, my focus is post first trimester (13 weeks) when your baby becomes a foetus and the risk of miscarriage greatly reduces. Unfortunately, it does still happen, and it is one of the hardest things a woman will ever have to go through. Where's the support? Who decides when your baby is considered immediate family?
We waited, as most do, until we'd reached the second trimester before telling the world our little bundle of joy was on the way. I had felt him kicking and moving since 15 weeks and my partner had also felt his kicks. We had numerous ultrasound scans, scan photos to fill the photo album and heard his heart beating. He felt like a family member to us...... and yet he's not legally considered 'immediate family'..? This doesn't seem right or fair. Please help us change this! Bereavement is about the loss felt, not medical categorisation.
The lack of financial support also has implications for women going back to work before they are physically and mentally ready.
I want to see this law changed for the next parents who may go through this. It shouldn't be left up to the employer to decide. Being entitled to three days paid bereavement leave isn't a lot to ask. These angels are our children and we need more financial support from the government to help us through these devastating times.
We are so proud to call you our son DJ, mummy and daddy will always always love you, fly high little angel xxxxx