When to register a stillbirth
If your baby was born after the 24th week of pregnancy but did not breathe or show any signs of life, you will need to register a Stillbirth. This gives parents an opportunity to have their baby officially acknowledged and have their name recorded. This has to happen before you are able to have a burial or cremation. If your baby was born before 24 weeks and showed no signs of life, this is legally classed as a miscarriage, and you do not need to register. If your baby showed signs of life after birth and then died you will need to register this as a birth and a death. A stillbirth must be registered within 42 days.
The GP or hospital will issue a stillbirth medical certificate or the coroner will issue paperwork.
The necessary paperwork and contact details of the parent/s will be emailed directly to the Register Office. Once received, the Registrar will call parent/s to arrange an appointment to register the stillbirth.
Who can register a stillbirth
- If the baby’s parents are married or in a civil partnership, either the mother or father can register.
- The mother can register if the baby’s parents are not married or in a civil partnership, the father’s details will not be recorded
- The mother and father can attend together to register if not married or in a civil partnership, the father’s details will be recorded
If the child was conceived as a result of fertility treatment
The following people can register the stillbirth:
- the mother
- the father, if he was married to or in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of treatment
- the second female parent, if she was married to or in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of treatment
The certificate for burial or cremation gives permission for the funeral to take place. Once the stillbirth has been registered the form can be emailed by the Registrar to the relevant organisation organising the funeral.
At the appointment, you will need to provide the following information:
- Date and place of the stillbirth
- Baby's forename(s) and surname
- The mother's full name and any previous names, maiden name, their date and place of birth and current or last occupation
- Father/2nd parent (if they're to be included) full name and any previous names, their date and place of birth and current or last occupation
- Month and year of the marriage/civil partnership if the parents were married or in a civil partnership at the time of the stillbirth
- Registering a stillbirth - Free
- Certificate of registration - Free
- Full stillbirth certificate - £11
Where to get further advice
If you have suffered a bereavement, whether you are a parent or other family member, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS) can offer a range of support services.