Register a Stillbirth

How to Register a Stillbirth

You must register a stillbirth within 3 months. The information given to the registrar is recorded in the still-birth register.

A still birth is legally defined as a child 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 still-born a doctor or midwife will issue a medical certificate of still birth. The person who registers the still-birth must take this certificate to the local registrar’s office.  Click on the How & Where To Register a Death link above.

If it is inconvenient to go to the district where the still-birth took place, the information for the registration may be given to a registrar in another district. The details will be recorded on a form of declaration and sent to the registrar of the district where the still-birth occurred. The registrar who receives the declaration will enter the information in the still-birth register. Certificates of the still-birth which may have been ordered and paid for at the time of making the declaration, as well as the document for burial or cremation will be posted out to you. The family should discuss the arrangements with their funeral director and the registrar to avoid any delay to the funeral.

Who can register a stillbirth

  • If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth, either the mother or father may register
  • If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the stillbirth, the father’s details may be entered in the following circumstances
    1. the mother and father go to the register office and sign the stillbirth register together
    2. if the father is unable to go to the register office with the mother he may make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity which the mother must produce to the registrar (this form may be obtained from any register office in England or Wales)
    3. if the mother is unable to attend the register office with the mother she may complete a statutory declaration acknowledging the father’s paternity which the father must produce to the registrar
  • the occupier of the house or hospital where the child was still-born
  • a person who was present at the stillbirth
  • a person who is responsible for the still-born child
  • the person who found the still-born child (where the date and place of the stillbirth are unknown)

If information about the father is not recorded, it may be possible for the stillbirth to be re-registered to include his details at a later date

To register stillbirth the registrar will need to know:

  • date and place of stillbirth.
  • the first name(s) and surname if the parents wish to name the still-born child
  • the sex of the child.

Father (where this information is to be entered in the register)

  • first name(s) and surname.
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation at the time of the stillbirth.

Mother

  • first name(s) and surname.
  • maiden surname if the mother is or has been married
  • date and place of birth.
  • occupation at the time of the stillbirth
  • usual address at the time of the stillbirth
  • date of marriage, if married to the still-born child’s father at the time of the stillbirth.

You will be given

A certificate of registration will be issued free of charge to the person who registers the stillbirth. Any names given to the still-born child and entered in the register will be recorded on the certificate of registration.

The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the still-born child. The certificate is normally passed to the funeral director who is making the arrangements. A funeral cannot take place without this. If there is a delay to the registration it is possible for a certificate for the burial to be issued before registration provided the stillbirth does not need to be reported to the coroner. A certificate for cremation cannot be issued before the registration.

Any application for a certificate not made at the time of the registration should be sent to the General Register Office, PO Box 2, Southport, Merseyside PR8 2JD – click on the link below for further information
Register a stillbirth