The Register Office will shut at 3.30pm on 22 and 29 December

Stillbirths

We appreciate that it is a time of great sadness when families experience a stillbirth, but registration is a legal process so it is essential you understand what you have to do. You must register the stillbirth in person - a friend or relative cannot do it instead.

Book an appointment to register a stillbirth

What is a stillbirth?
A stillborn child is defined as a baby born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy. If the child was born breathing or showed any signs of life after being born, you must register the child as a live-born.

How long do I have to register a stillborn?
You must register the stillborn in the district it took place within 42 days. You cannot register a stillbirth more than three months after it occurred.

Who can register a stillbirth?
The following are able to register a stillbirth:

  • Married parents - if the child's parents were married to one another at the time of the stillbirth, either parent is able to register the stillbirth
  • Unmarried parents - if the parents were not married at the time of the stillbirth or conception, you can only register information about the father if:
    • The mother and father sign the stillbirth register together
    • The father makes a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity for the mother to give to the registrar - you can pick up a form from the Register Office or obtain it at Gov.uk
    • The mother makes a statutory declaration acknowledging the father's paternity for the father to give to the registrar
  • Other - if neither parent is able to register the stillbirth, the registrar will arrange for one of the following to register the stillbirth:
    • The occupier of the house or hospital where the stillborn occurred
    • A person present at the stillbirth
    • A person responsible for the stillborn child
    • The person who found the stillborn, if the details of the stillbirth are unknown.

What do I need to provide to register the stillbirth?
You will need the medical certificate of stillbirth from the hospital. You will also need the following information about the baby:

  • The date and place of the stillbirth
  • The sex of the stillborn child
  • The forename and surname of the stillborn child (if you wish to name it).

You will also need to provide the following information about the baby's mother:

  • Their forename and surname
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Their maiden name if married or previously married
  • Their usual home address
  • Their occupation or last occupation
  • Their date of marriage to the stillborn child's father
  • Their number of other children.

If you want the father's details to appear on the register, you will need to provide the following details:

  • Their forename and surname
  • Their date and place of birth
  • Their occupation or last occupation.
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