Registering a stillbirth
A stillbirth should be registered within 42 days.
If the stillbirth was in Gateshead, you can register at Gateshead Register Office. If not, you can register the stillbirth by declaration. We will send your details to the correct office and any certificates will be posted to you.
There is no charge for registering a stillbirth.
Registration of a stillbirth is important as it gives parents the opportunity to have their baby officially acknowledged and to give their baby a name if they wish to.
Making an appointment
Phone 0191 433 3027 to make an appointment or talk to someone personally.
Who can register the stillbirth
If the baby's parents are married, either the mother or father can register.
The mother can sign if:
- the baby's parents are not married
- the father cannot be traced or is unknown
If both parents want the father's name in the register:
- both parents can sign the register together
- the mother can sign and bring a 'signed declaration' from the father (the register office can explain how to do this).
If the father registers the stillbirth and the parents are not married, the mother will need to make a 'signed declaration' (the register office can explain how to do this).
If the child was conceived as a result of fertility treatment
Any of the following can register the stillbirth:
- the mother
- the father, if he was married to the mother at the time of treatment
- the second female parent if she was in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of treatment
If neither parent can attend
The following people can register the stillbirth:
- the occupier of the hospital or house where the stillbirth took place
- someone who was present at the stillbirth
- someone who is responsible for the stillborn child
the person who found the stillborn child, if the date and place of the stillbirth are unknown
What happens at your appointment
All you need to bring is the medical certificate of stillbirth issued by the doctor or midwife present at the time (and Form 16 if you need one).You will be asked:
- the place and date of the stillbirth
- first name, surname and sex of the baby
- parents' first names, surnames and addresses
- places and dates of parents' birth
- date of parents' marriage or civil partnership
- parents' jobs at the time of the stillbirth
- mother's maiden surname if she is, or has ever been, married
- number of children the mother has had by her present husband or any former husband
It is helpful to bring documents to your appointment so the correct spellings of all names and addresses are recorded. This could be a passport, driving licence, utility bill, birth or marriage certificate.
Don't worry if any of these documents aren't available as the registrar can still register the stillbirth.
It is important that the information entered into the register is right as mistakes can be difficult to correct and will incur a fee of £90.
If English is not your first language, you may ask a friend or relative to come with you to act as an interpreter.
Obtaining certificate for an historic stillbirth entry
Due to the sensitive nature of stillbirth registrations, the procedure for ordering a copy of a stillbirth entry differs from other types of certificates. Apart from very recent events, the General Register Office holds records of all stillbirths registered in England and Wales since 1 July 1927. Certified copies of these records can only be obtained with the registrar general's consent.
- a certificate will only be issued to the mother or father of a stillborn child
- siblings may apply if their parents are deceased - details of their parents dates of death should be sent with the application
- stillbirth certificates can only be obtained from the General Register Office in Southport.