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Registering a Stillbirth

We understand that it can be very daunting to have to face registering a stillbirth. 

A stillborn baby is legally defined as a baby born after the 24th week of pregnancy, who did not at any time after being born breathe, or show any other signs of life.

When a child is stillborn, the doctor or midwife who was present at the birth or examined the baby will issue a medical certificate of stillbirth. This certificate will be required when you attend the register office.

To arrange an appointment please telephone 0300 303 2472 between 9am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, and one of the team will assist you.

(Please note that during peak times you may need to leave a voicemail message but be assured we will return your call as quickly as is possible).

Stillbirths in England and Wales should normally be registered within 42 days of the stillbirth. Should there need to be a registration of a stillbirth after 42 days please contact your local register office for further advice.

Any stillbirths registered after 12 months will need to be authorised by the Registrar General for Englahd and Wales.

A stillbirth must be registered in the district in which it takes place. If it is not possible to attend a registration office within the district then it is possible to register at a more convenient registration office by means of a legal declaration. This may delay the issue of relevant documents for a few days.

Stillbirth registration began on 1st July 1927 to help protect infant life.  It gives parents the opportunity to have their child officially acknowledged and to give him or her names if they wish to.  It is also an important source of historical and statistical information

Parents married to each other
If the parents of the child are married to each other at the time of the stillbirth, either the mother or father may register.

Parents not married to each other
If the parents of the child were not married to each other at the time of the stillbirth, information about the mother of the child will always be included in the register.
Information about the father may only be included in the register in the following circumstances:
        the mother and father attend the register office and sign the register together
        either parent can attend the register office with a statutory declaration acknowledging parentage from the other partner
Although the majority of stillbirths are registered by the parents, if it is difficult for them to attend, other people may be able to attend to provide the information. This may often be people in authority from the hospital where the stillbirth took place.

The information detailed below will be required:

CHILD
* Date and place of stillbirth
* Forename(s) and Surname, if the parents wish to name the child
* Sex of the baby

MOTHER
* Forename(s)
* Surname
* Maiden name (if married)
* Date of birth
* Place of birth (town and county)
* Address of mother at time of stillbirth
* Occupation (at the time of baby's stillbirth or if not employed at that time, last previous employment)
* If married to father at time of stillbirth - date of marriage
* No. of previous children

FATHER  (where these details are to be entered in the register - see note above)
* Forename(s)
* Surname
* Date of birth
* Place of birth (town and county)
* Occupation at time of stillbirth, or if not employed at that time, last previous employment

It is important that the information supplied is accurate as any corrections to the register may be difficult to make later.

Certificate of registration

A certificate of registration will be issued free of charge to the person who registers the stillbirth. This certificate provides proof that the stillbirth has taken place. It includes any names given and the date of the stillbirth

Certificate for burial or cremation

The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the stillborn child. This certificate would normally be given to the funeral director who was making the arrangements. No funeral for the child can take place without this certificate.

Stillbirth certificate

After a stillbirth has been registered, a certificate showing the full details included in the entry may be purchased from the Registrar. The current statutory fee for this certificate is £ 4.00.  

Important information

PLEASE BE AWARE we are experiencing a high volume of calls at the present time. It is likely that you will get through to an answer machine message, please leave one message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We would like to express our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.