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Register a stillbirth

A baby is considered stillborn if they sadly pass away after the 24th week of pregnancy. When this happens, a doctor or midwife will issue a medical certificate of stillbirth, which you will then take to the Registrar to register the stillbirth (if possible, within 42 days).

Every stillbirth in England or Wales must be registered in the district where it took place.

Definition of a stillbirth

A stillborn baby is legally defined as a baby born after the 24th week of pregnancy, who did not at any time after being born, breathe or show any other signs of life. If they did breathe or show other signs of life after being born, they are considered to be a live-born baby for registration purposes only (no matter the number of weeks of pregnancy).

The register office can't register a stillborn before the 24th week of pregnancy, but the hospital might be able to give you a certificate of birth. 

Register a stillbirth

Call our register office to book an appointment to come in and register a stillbirth, on 01225 47 72 34. We know this will be a difficult time for you, but you do need to come in to the register office to officially register.

What you need to register

You must bring the medical certificate of the stillbirth, which your GP, hospital doctor or bereavement office should give you.

Bringing something that shows your full name is also helpful. Any of the following will do:

  • Your passport or driving licence
  • Your marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Proof of address (a bank statement or utility bill)

Information we ask for

We will ask you for the following information when you register:

  • Baby's place and date of stillbirth
  • Baby's names (if you want to name your baby)
  • Baby's gender
  • Parents' names and any previous names
  • Parents' addresses
  • Parents' places and dates of birth
  • Parents' jobs
  • Date of parents' marriage or civil partnership (if any)

You don’t have to enter a name for your baby in the register, but if you choose not to add a name, you won’t be able to add it later.

Documents we will give you

The registrar will keep the medical certificate of stillbirth, and give you the following documents:

  • Certificate of registration
  • A form that allows burial or cremation (which you can give to your chosen funeral director)

There is no charge to register a stillbirth, but you can buy copies of the full entry in the register for £11 per copy.

Correct a mistake on a stillbirth certificate

When registering a stillbirth, you must check the register page carefully and tell the registrar about anything that’s incorrect. If you notice a mistake after your appointment, we might not be able to correct it. If we can correct it, you’ll be charged a fee of £75 or £90 depending on what needs to be changed