Registration of a still-born baby

 

What you need to do to register a still-birth
How a still-birth is defined
Registration if the still-birth occurs in Milton Keynes
Registration if the still-birth occurred outside Milton Keynes
Who can register a still-birth
What information you will need
What certificates that will be issued

 

What you need to do to register a still-birth.

When a child is still-born, the doctor or midwife will issue a medical certificate of still-birth.  The person who registers the still-birth must take this certificate to the Registrar.

Every still-birth in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place within 42 days.  If this is delayed the registration must be carried out within 12 months or it will need to be referred to the General Register Office. 

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How a still-birth is defined

A still-born child is legally defined as a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy who did not, at any time after being born, breathe or show any other signs of life.  A child who breathed or showed other signs of life is considered live-born for registration purposes, irrespective of the number of weeks duration of the pregnancy.

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Registration if the still-birth occurs in Milton Keynes

Call us to make an appointment to register the still birth of your baby.

If it is not convenient for you to register the still-birth in Milton Keynes you may prefer to make a declaration of the still-birth at your local register office in another district.  Staff from your local register office will be able to offer you advice on the procedure for this.

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Registration if the still-birth occurred outside Milton Keynes

To register your baby’s still birth by declaration with us please call to book an appointment.

The registrar will record the details in the form of a declaration and send it to the registrar for the district where the still-birth occurred.  The registrar who receives the declaration will enter the information in the still-birth register.

Certificates of the still-birth will need to be purchased from the register office in the district where the still-birth occurred.  The documents for the burial or cremation and certificate of registration are issued free of charge but the still-birth certificates are chargeable.  These will be posted to you by the district where the still-birth occurred.

If a declaration is made, it will take longer for the document for burial or cremation to be issued.  You should discuss this your funeral director and the registrar in order to avoid any delays to the funeral.

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Who can register a still-birth

If the parents of the child were married to each other, or in a civil partnership, at the time of the still-birth (or conception), either the mother or the father may register.

If the parents were not married to each other, or in a civil partnership, at the time of the still-birth (or conception), information about the father may be entered into the register only in the following circumstances:

  • Where the mother and father go to the register office and sign the still-birth register together, or
  • Where the father is unable to go to the register office with the mother - the father may make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity which the mother must produce to the registrar (this form may be obtained from any registrar in England or Wales, or downloaded from Gov.uk).
  • Where the mother is unable to go to the register office with the father - the mother may make a statutory declaration acknowledging the father's paternity which the father must produce to the registrar (this form may be obtained from any registrar in England or Wales, or downloaded from Gov.uk).

If information about the father is not recorded, it may be possible for the still-birth to be re-registered to include his details at a later date.

Although the majority of still-births are registered by the parents, sometimes neither the mother nor the father are able to do this. In these circumstances, the registrar will arrange for the registration to be completed by whichever of the following people is the best able to do so:

  • The occupier of the house or hospital where the child was still-born
  • A person who was present at the still-birth
  • A person who is responsible for the still-born child
  • The person who found the still-born child (where the date and place of the still-birth are unknown)

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What information you will need

About the child

  • Date and place of still-birth
  • The forename(s) and surname, if the parents wish to name the still-born child
  • Sex of the child

Father (where this information is to be entered into the register)

  • Forename(s) and surname
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the still-birth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation
  • Usual address at the date of the still-birth
  • Date of marriage or civil partnership, if married or in a civil partnership to the still-born child's mother at the time of the still-birth
  • Number of previous children by the present wife / civil partner

About the mother

  • Forename(s) and surname
  • Maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the still-birth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation
  • Usual address at the date of the still-birth
  • Date of marriage or civil partnership, if married or in a civil partnership to the still-born child's father at the time of the still-birth
  • Number of previous children by the present husband / civil partner and by any former husband / civil partner

The person registering the still-birth should check the information very carefully before signing the register, paying particular attention to spellings and dates.  If anything is found to be incorrect before the register page is signed the error(s) can be changed free of charge.  If anything is found to be incorrect after the register page has been signed a fee is chargeable for consideration of the correction which can be a lengthy process.

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What certificates that will be issued

Certificate of registration

A certificate of registration will be issued, free of charge, to the person who registers the still-birth.  This certificate provides proof that the still-birth has been registered.  Any names given to the still-born child and entered into the register will be recorded on the certificate of registration.

Still-birth certificate

After a still-birth has been registered, certificates may be purchased at the time of registration or at any time afterwards by the mother or the father (the father's details would need to be recorded in the register entry for him to be able to obtain a certificate). Any application for a certificate from someone who is not the mother or father should be sent to the General Register Office giving full details of the purpose for which the certificate is required.

Certificate for burial or cremation

The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial (in a burial ground) or cremation (in a crematorium) of the still-born child.  The certificate is normally passed to the funeral director who is making the arrangements.  A funeral cannot take place until this certificate is given to the burial authority or the crematorium.  If there is a delay to the registration, it is possible for a certificate for the burial (in a burial ground) to be issued before registration provided the still-birth does not need to be reported to the coroner.  A certificate for cremation cannot be issued before the registration.

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Last Updated: 14 October 2020