Registering a still birth

A still-born child 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.

What do you need to do to register a still-birth in Bury?

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 registrar. Every still-birth in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place. A still-birth may not be registered more than three months after it occurred. To make an appointment to register a still-birth which occurred in Bury please telephone the register office

Information to be supplied to register a still-birth

  • For the child:
    • Date and place of still-birth
    • The forename(s) and surname, if the parents wish to name the stillborn child
    • Sex of the child
  • For the father (where this information is to be entered in the register):
    • Forename(s) and surname
    • Date and place of birth
    • Occupation at the time of the still-birth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation
    • Usual address at the time of the still-birth
  • For the mother:
    • Forename(s) and surname
    • Maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married
    • Date and place of birth
    • Occupation at the time of the still-birth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation
    • Usual address at the date of the still-birth
    • Date of marriage, if married to the still-born child's father at the time of the still-birth

Who can register a still-birth?

  • Parents married to each other
    If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth (or conception), either the mother or the father may register.
  • Parents not married to each other
    If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the still-birth (or conception), information about the father may be entered in the register only in the following circumstances:
    • If the mother and father go to the register office and sign the still-birth register together, or
    • Where the father is unable to go to the register office with the mother, the father makes 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), or
    • Where the mother is unable to go to the register office with the father, the mother makes a statutory declaration acknowledging the father's paternity which the father must produce to the registrar (this form may be obtained from any register office in England or Wales).
  • If the parents of the child cannot register the still-birth the following are qualified to do so
    • The occupier of the house or hospital where the child was still-born
    • A person who was present at the still-birth
    • A person who is responsible for the still-born child
    • The person who found the still-born child (where the date/location are unknown)

What certificates will be issued?

  • Certificate of registration
    A certificate of registration will be issued, free of charge, to the person who registers the still-birth.
  • Still-birth certificate
    After a still-birth has been registered, one or more certificates may be purchased at the time of registration or at any time afterwards by the mother or the father. (The father's details would need to be recorded in the register entry for him to be able to obtain a certificate)

Any application for a certificate from someone who is not the mother or father should be sent to the General Register Office, PO Box 2, Southport , PR8 2JD, giving full details of the purpose for which the certificate is required.

Certificates for burial or cremation

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 until this certificate is given to the burial authority or the crematorium. If there is a delay to the registration, it is possible for a certificate for the burial to be issued before the registration provided the stillbirth does not need to be reported to the coroner. A certificate for cremation cannot be issued before the registration.

Contact for Register Office