Registering a Birth and Death

Do I Need to Register my Baby’s Birth?

If Your Baby Died Before 24 Completed Weeks of Pregnancy.

If your baby died before 24 completed weeks of pregnancy, you are currently unable to register his or her birth at a registry office.  However, many hospitals give parents a certificate of birth as a keepsake.  If your hospital did not provide you with a certificate, you are very welcome to download and print a copy of our version (available soon), or you could create one yourself.  You could ask a member of staff at the hospital or a chaplain to sign it for you.

If you want to arrange your baby’s funeral yourself, you will need to get a form from the hospital to give to your funeral director.  The form confirms that your baby was born before 24 weeks of pregnancy and showed no signs of life.

If Your Baby was Stillborn After 24 Completed Weeks of Pregnancy.

If your baby was stillborn after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy you will need to register your baby’s stillbirth at a registry office.  This need to be done before 6 weeks have passed since the day your baby was born (3 weeks in Scotland and 3 months in Northern Ireland).  You will need to take a medical certificate of stillbirth with you, which will be given to you by a doctor or midwife.

If Your Baby Died After Birth.

If your baby was born alive at any stage of pregnancy and then died, you will need to register your baby’s death within 5 working days, or 8 working days if you live in Scotland.  You will be able to register your baby’s birth at the same time.  The hospital will be able to give you the relevant forms you will need to take to the registry office with you.

Who Needs to Register My Baby’s Birth or Stillbirth?

Married parents: Either the Mother or Father can register the birth or stillbirth.
Unmarried Parents: If both parents wish for the baby’s father’s name to be on the birth and death certificates, they will usually need to go to the registry office together, unless a declaration signed by the person who is not attending can be provided (your local registry office will be able to explain how to do this).

If the father registers the stillbirth and the parents aren’t married, the mother will need to make a ‘signed declaration’ (the registry office can explain how to do this).

If your baby was stillborn and neither parent is able to go to the registry office within 6 weeks, please contact your local registry office to find out who else can register on your behalf.

Do I need to Register the Death of my Baby Before His or Her Funeral?

The stillbirth or death of your baby must be registered before a funeral can take place. If, for religious reasons, you need to hold your baby’s funeral very quickly, most registrars are able to issue you with a certificate of stillbirth or a death certificate out of normal office hours.  The hospital staff will be able to give you the information you need to arrange to speak to your local registrar out of normal office hours.