Registering a stillbirth

You must register a stillbirth within 42 days.

A still-born child is legally defined as a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy who did not at any time after being born breathe or show any other signs of life. A child who breathed or showed other signs of life, irrespective of the number of weeks of the pregnancy, is considered live-born for registration purposes.

If the baby was stillborn in the Doncaster district, it will be registered at Doncaster Register Office. If English is not your first language and you would like someone to help with the registration, a relative or friend can accompany you to the office when you attend.

If you are unable to get to our office, you can make a 'declaration' at another registrar's. The information you give will then be sent to us to enter on our register. We will send any documents, including the relevant certificates, to you by post.

What we will need

When you register, you will need to bring the medical certificate from the doctor who recorded the stillbirth. You will need to tell us:

  • date and place of still-birth
  • the full name, if parents wish to name the still-born child
  • whether the stillborn child is a boy or girl

For the father (where these details are to be entered in the register)

  • full name
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation at the time of the child’s birth or, if he was not employed at that time, his last occupation

For the mother:

  • full name and, if applicable, maiden surname
  • date and place of birth
  • usual address at the date of the stillbirth
  • occupation or previous occupation (optional)
  • if married to baby’s father at the time of the stillbirth, the date of the marriage
  • if married to baby’s father at the time of the stillbirth, the number of her previous children by her present husband or any previous husband

It is important that the information recorded in the register should be correct, so it should be checked carefully.

Who can register a stillbirth?

If married at the time of the stillbirth, either parent can register. Where parents are not married, a mother can register, but a father’s details may only be entered if:

  • both parents attend together, or
  • the mother attends and produces a statutory declaration of parentage completed by the father, or
  • the father attends and produces a statutory declaration of parentage completed by the mother

It is possible for another person to register a stillbirth when neither parent is able. The registrar will arrange for 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 is responsible for the stillborn child
  • where the time and date of the stillbirth are unknown, the person who found the stillborn child

When a stillbirth has been registered

A certificate of registration will be issued, free of charge, to the person who registers the stillbirth. One or more certificates may be bought at the time of registration or at any time afterwards by the mother. The father's details would need to be recorded in the register entry for him to be able to obtain a certificate.

Any application for a certificate from someone who is not the mother or father should be sent to the General Register Office, Anniversary Section, PO Box 2, Southport, PR8 2JD, giving full details of the purpose for which the certificate is required.

We will also issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the stillborn child. The certificate is normally passed to the funeral director who is making the arrangements. A funeral cannot take place until this certificate is provided. If there is a delay to the registration, it is possible for a certificate for the burial to be issued before registration provided the stillbirth does not need to be reported to the coroner. A certificate for cremation cannot be issued before the registration.

For further information please contact us:

Last updated: 19 December 2016 16:47:46