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 responsible party.
  • 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.


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