Registering a still-birth

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

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 must be registered within 42 days.

Who can register a still-birth?

  • Parents married to each other at the time of the still-birth (or conception), either the mother or the father may register.
  • Parents not married to each other at the time of the still-birth (or conception), need to both attend the Register Office in order for the father's details to be included in the register. Where the father is unable to go to the Register Office with the mother, the father needs to make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity, which the mother must produce to the Registrar. Where the mother is unable to go to the Register Office with the father, the mother needs to make a statutory declaration acknowledging the father's paternity, which the father must produce to the Registrar. This form can be obtained from the Register Office.

If the parents of the child cannot register the still-birth, the following people are required 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 and/or location are unknown)

Information to be supplied for the registration of a still-birth

For the child:

  • Date and place of still-birth
  • The forename(s) and surname, if the parents wish to name the still-born child
  • Sex of the child.

For the father (where this information is to be entered in the register):

  • Forename(s) and surname (and any other names he has been known by)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the still-birth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation.

For the mother:

  • Forename(s) and surname (and any other names she has been known by)
  • 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.

What certificates will be issued?

  • Certificate of Registration
  • 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 registration provided the still-birth does not need to be reported to the Coroner. A Certificate for Cremation cannot be issued before the registration.

Contact for Register Office