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What you need to know...
Where a baby is stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, you will be given a Medical Certificate of Stillbirth signed by the midwife or doctor. You should give this certificate to the registrar. If no doctor or midwife was present and no doctor or midwife has examined the body, you must sign Form 35, which the registrar will give you at your appointment.
Who needs to register?
If the parents are married to each other or in a civil partnership, either parent can register.
If the parents are not married to each other, the father must attend the appointment with the mother, if his details are to be included on the registration. If the mother attends alone, the father's details won't be recorded.
If two female parents are not married or in a civil partnership, both must attend the appointment and meet the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, if the second female’s details are to be included on the registration. If the mother attends alone, the details of the second female parent won't be recorded.
The registrar will need to know the
- date and place of the stillbirth
- forenames and surname of the child (if the parents wish to name them)
- sex of the child
- parents' names, surnames and address (including any former names)
- places and dates of the parents' birth
- date of the parents' marriage or civil partnership (if applicable)
- parents' occupations
- mother's maiden surname.
What you need to bring
You should bring the Medical Certificate of Stillbirth given to you by the hospital or midwife.
It would also be useful for you to bring:
- your passport or birth certificate
- proof of your current address
- proof of any former name or names (for example, a change of name deed or marriage certificate).
Please note that you are not legally required to produce these documents, but if you do, they can help to ensure the registration is completed accurately.
The registrar who registers the stillbirth will provide you with:
- A Certificate for Burial or Cremation. It should be taken to the funeral directors so that the funeral can be held.
- A Certificate of Registration of Stillbirth.
It is also possible to get certified copies of the entry.
You can contact us if you have any questions about registering a stillborn child.
Funeral of a stillborn baby
The health authority may offer to arrange a burial or cremation, free of charge, for every stillborn baby, whether born in hospital or at home. You should discuss the funeral arrangements with the hospital staff.
If you accept the offer, the baby will be cremated or buried after a simple ceremony. The parents can arrange the funeral themselves, if, for instance, the hospital cannot arrange the funeral to meet with their religious beliefs.
You may still be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance.
Please read the Government’s guidance on maternity benefits.