Only staff from the Medical Examiner’s office may
refer a child to the Garden of Innocents. Although the organization
would like to help all deceased children, resources are limited and we
have been forced to develop strict eligibility requirements. It is our
hope that someday our services will not be necessary because all
families will claim their children. The Garden of Innocents will
automatically accept children that meet the following criteria:
- The child is unclaimed by next of kin or by any legally
- The child’s next of kin has requested a City burial. In such a
case, the family must be informed that they are relinquishing custody
of the child’s remains, and that they will not be notified of the time
or place of the child’s burial.
- The child must be less than 60 inches in length.
Garden of Innocents will provide services to any
child meeting these criteria regardless of age, gender, race, religious
background, or manner of death. It is not necessary that a child have
been born alive for referral to the Garden. The Board of Directors may
make a unanimous vote to accept a child that does not meet these
requirements but is referred.