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When your child dies abroad

When a child dies abroad many additional problems arise. You may wish or need to go to the place in which they died and then you may be in unfamiliar surroundings, possibly having to cope with complex negotiations in a language you don’t speak.

You may need to consider immediately how to convey the terrible news to people back home, bearing in mind the speed at which the media may publish the news. If your child is involved in a major disaster, you may not be certain whether or not they are on that flight or in that area and you may receive a telephone call from abroad or a visit from your local police informing you of the tragedy.

TCF have produced a fact sheet - Deaths Abroad Fact Sheet FAQ - addressing some of the most frequently asked questions from parents when a son or daughter dies overseas.

There are many other issues and questions that arise when your child dies overseas such as whether or not to go to the place where they died; the difficulties of getting to a remote place; the need to discover the truth of how your child died; managing different burial customs in other parts of the world; waiting for legal formalities; problems and costs involved in translating legal documents and obtaining a death certificate; repatriation of your child’s body.

You may find some of the following contacts helpful:

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (www.fco.gov.uk or 020 7008 0218) who produce a leaflet Death Overseas – Advice for Friends and Relatives, which gives information about the role of the British Consul abroad and the help available from London.

Murdered Abroad group for families, partners and friends of the victims of murder and manslaughter abroad. They have a helpline on 0845 123 2384 www.murdered-abroad.org.uk

The Law Society and The Law Society of Scotland (www.lawsociety.org.uk or www.lawscot.org.uk) can help with legal advice.

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