Registering a still birth

How is a still birth defined?

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

When a child is stillborn, a Doctor or midwife will issue a medical certificate of stillbirth. The person who registers the stillbirth must take the certificate to the Registrar. Every stillbirth in England and Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place. A stillbirth may not be registered more than three months after it occurred.

Parents married to each other at the time of the stillbirth (or conception) and Civil partners who have been through a formal civil partnership

  • Either the mother or the father or the parent may register.

Parents not married to each other and parents who have not been through a civil partnership with each other can still register a stillbirth but only:

  • If both mother and father attend and both sign the stillbirth register
  • If both partners attend and both sign the stillbirth register

It is possible for the father’s details or partner’s details to be entered if they cannot attend but only if certain conditions have been complied with.

For further advice please contact the Customer Services Team on 0300 1234 181 and ask for the Truro Register Office.

If the parents of the child cannot register the stillbirth it is possible for certain other people to register stillbirth on their behalf.

  • The occupier of the house or hospital where the stillbirth occurred
  • A person who was present at the stillbirth
  • A person who is responsible for the stillborn child

For the child

  • Date and place of stillbirth
  • The forenames 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 into the register)

  • Forenames and surname
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the stillbirth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation

For the mother / parent

  • Forenames and surname
  • Maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the stillbirth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation
  • Usual address at the time of the stillbirth
  • Date of marriage or civil partnership if married to the stillborn child’s father or has been through a formal civil partnership.

Below is a summary of forms and vertificates.

When you register a stillbirthYou will usually get the following

If a baby is stillborn

Registration of stillbirth

If a baby is stillborn and you want a burial or cremation 

Certificate for burial or cremation (the white form)

Next - The Funeral

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