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 stillbirth at York Register Office or supply information to a registrar in another district, depending where it happened.
People who can register a stillbirth
If the parents were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth or conception, then either the mother or father can register a 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 on the register if both parents can sign together
- if the parents are unable to sign the register together, but want both their details included 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 registers the stillbirth
If neither the mother nor the father are able to attend, the following people can register a stillbirth:
- 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 - contact York Register Office for details.
Documents relating to a stillbirth
When registering a stillbirth you'll need to bring the medical certificate of stillbirth issued by the doctor or midwife present at the time, and 'form 16', if applicable.
You also 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
When registering a stillbirth York Register Office will give you:
- short certificate showing your baby's name and date of birth
- full birth certificate
- form for the funeral director
These documents are issued free of charge.
The following organisations give support and advice relating to stillbirths: