Stillbirth - registering
Although registering a baby's death is distressing, for many parents it is one small way of beginning to cope with what has happened. If you really feel unable to cope with visiting the registrar in person, you can ask another "qualified informant" to deal with that for you, such as a grandparent or other close relative.
A stillbirth is defined as a baby that is born dead after the 24th week of pregnancy and by law must be registered.
When do you register a stillbirth?
The stillbirth can be registered once a medical doctor or midwife has completed the medical certificate recording the cause of death. The details for a stillbirth registration should be given to a registrar in the district in which the still birth occurred. The stillbirth must be registered within 3 months from when it occurred as there isn’t a provision to register after this period.
If no doctor or midwife was present, and no doctor or midwife examined the body, you must complete a form, which the registrar will give to you.
Who can register the stillbirth?
- The mother of the baby
- The father of the baby (only if the parents are married)
- Any relative of either parent of the baby who has knowledge of the stillbirth
- The occupier of the premises where the stillbirth took place (for example a governor or hospital matron)
- A person present at the stillbirth
- The female civil partner where the child's parents went through a civil partnership at the time of the still-birth.
In exceptional circumstances someone who isn't the baby's parent can register the stillbirth, but contact must be made the Register Office before coming in to register.
Non-married/pivil partnership couples
Only the mother's details will be recorded in the stillbirth entry where the parents were not married to each other or have been through a civil partnership at the time of the stillbirth. The father or other partner must attend if their details are to be recorded in the stillbirth entry.