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Register a birth

How to register

You must register a birth within 42 days of the birth at the register office in the district where the birth takes place. In Plymouth you can register a birth at the Plymouth Register Office.

Who can register a birth

Opposite-sex couples

Married or civil-partner parents

Either parent can register the birth on their own. They can include both parents’ details if they were married or in a civil partnership when the baby was born or conceived.

Unmarried parents

  • The mother and father sign the birth register together
  • one parent completes a statutory declaration of parentage form and the other takes the signed form to register the birth
  • one parent goes to register the birth with a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the father parental responsibility

Visit GOV.UK to download the Statutory declaration of parentage form.

The mother can choose to register the birth without the child’s father if they are not married or in a civil partnership. The father’s details will not be included on the birth certificate.

It is possible to add the father’s details at a later date by completing an application for the re-registration of a child’s birth.

Visit GOV.UK to download the Application for the re-registration of a child’s birth form.

Same-sex female couples

Female couples can include both their names on their child’s birth certificate when registering the birth if the following applies:

Married or civil-partner parents

Either parent can register the birth on their own if all of the following are true:

  • the mother has a child by donor insemination or fertility treatment
  • the mother &  second female parent were married or in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment

Unmarried, non-civil-partner parents

When a mother is not married or in a civil partnership, her partner can be recorded as the child’s second parent if both women:

  • are treated together in the UK by a licensed clinic
  • have made a ‘parenthood agreement’

For both parents’ details to be recorded on the birth certificate, they must do one of the following:

  • register the birth jointly
  • complete a ‘Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage’ form and one parent takes the signed form when she registers the birth
  • get a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the second female parent parental responsibility and one parent shows the document when she registers the birth

Visit GOV.UK to download the Statutory declaration of parentage form.

Same-sex male couples

Male couples must get a parental order from the court before they can be registered as parents.

Other people who can register a birth

If the parents cannot register the birth (for example, for medical reasons), certain other people can do it:

  • someone who was present at the birth
  • someone who is responsible for the child

When registering the birth you will be asked for the following information:

  • baby’s place and date of birth
  • time of birth, where more than one baby was born
  • baby’s names and sex
  • parents’ names and any previous names, including maiden name
  • parents’ addresses
  • parents’ places and dates of birth
  • parents’ occupation
  • month and year of marriage or civil partnership, if applicable

What you need to bring

It helps us if you bring something to the appointment that shows the parent/s name, such as a passport/ driving licence/ utility bill/marriage or civil partnership certificate. You can still make an appointment and register a birth if documents are not available. A record of the birth is sent to the Register Office by the hospital.  You are not required to bring your baby.

Cost

  • Registering a birth - Free
  • Birth certificate - £11

To purchase certificates at any time after registration visit Buy a copy of a certificate.

Correcting a mistake on a birth certificate

When registering a birth it is very important that you check the register page presented to you by the registrar. You are signing to say that the information is correct and true. Once signed the responsibility for the entry being correct lies with the person who registered. If you notice a mistake after your appointment we may not be able to correct it. If we can correct it, there may be a fee of £75 or £90, depending on what needs to be changed. 

Please email regoff@plymouth.gov.uk if you need further advice or need to re-arrange your appointment.