How do I register a stillbirth?
When a child is stillborn it is necessary to register the stillbirth in the district in which it occurred.
Although this may be arranged through any register office in England or Wales, it needs to be done within 42 days, and may not be done more than three months after the stillbirth occurred.
A medical certificate will be issued by the Doctor or Midwife who examined the body, or who was present at the stillbirth. This certificate is necessary to register the stillbirth at the Registration Office. The information is recorded in the stillbirth register and the person registering the stillbirth signs the record.
Who can register a stillbirth?
If you as parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth, then either parent may register.
If you as parents were not married to each other at the time of the stillbirth, information about the father may be entered in the register only in the following circumstances:
- the mother and father go to the register office and sign the stillbirth 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)
- 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).
Other people who may register stillbirths
Although the majority of stillbirths are registered by the parents, sometimes neither the mother or 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 best able to do so:
- the occupier of the house or hospital where the child was stillborn
- a person who was present at the stillbirth
- a person who is responsible for the stillborn child
- the person who found the stillborn child (where the date and place of the still-birth are unknown).
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