Registering a stillbirth

A stillbirth is a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy who did not show any signs of life after being born.

Stillbirths have to be registered within 42 days.

You can register a still birth at the register office which covers the area in which it happened or you can supply the information to a registrar in another district, however, this may take longer.

See information about York Register Office.

Who should register?

If the parents were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth or conception, then either the mother or father can register the stillbirth.

If the parents were not married, then who registers the stillbirth will depend on a number of factors:

  • a mother may register a stillbirth alone, and include only her details
  • the mother’s and father’s details can be entered if both parents can sign the stillbirth register together
  • if the mother or father are unable to attend together, but want both their details included in the register they can make a ‘statutory declaration to acknowledge paternity’ on one ‘form 16’ (available from the register office) which must be given to the registrar by which ever parent attends

If neither the mother nor the father are able to attend, registration can be done by whichever of the following people is best able to do so:

  • the occupier of the house or manager of the hospital where the stillbirth happened
  • someone who was present at the stillbirth
  • someone who is responsible for the stillborn child
  • the person who found the stillborn child (where the date and place of the stillbirth are unknown)

If the father's details are not recorded in the stillbirth register, it may be possible to add them later by re-registering the stillbirth. Please contact us for details.

Documents you will need to bring

You will need to bring the medical certificate of stillbirth issued by the doctor or midwife present at the time (and form 16 if you need one).

You need to provide the following information

  • place and date of stillbirth
  • name (if you wish to name the child), surname and sex of the baby
  • parents’ names, surnames and address
  • places and dates of parents’ birth
  • date of parents’ marriage or civil partnership
  • parents’ jobs
  • mother’s maiden surname

What documents we will give you

  • short certificate showing your baby's name and date of birth.
  • full birth certificate
  • form for the funeral director

These forms are issued free of charge.

Also see

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