Registering a stillborn baby

If your baby was born alive at any stage of pregnancy and then died, or if your baby was born after 24 weeks of pregnancy and showed no signs of life, you must register them with the registrar of births and deaths for the district where your baby was born. 

You should normally register a stillbirth within 42 days; you can't register a stillbirth more than three months after it happened.

How to register your baby's death

You can register a stillbirth at any of three locations in the borough. To register, you need to contact us to make an appointment. If you need an appointment outside of office hours, just ask when you contact us and we'll try to arrange this. When you make your appointment, we'll tell you what you need to bring with you.

Either parent may register a baby's death, providing you were married when the baby was born. If not, but both parents want the father's details to be included in the register, both of you need to attend the register office together. If you can't, contact us and we'll advise you what you need to do. If you prefer, you can add the father's details at a later date.

Once you've registered your baby, we'll issue a short birth certificate free of charge. If you want a full birth certificate (showing parents' names), ask the registrar. 

Registering a stillbirth by declaration

You can go to any register office in England and Wales to give the details of the stillbirth of your baby, but they won't be able to register the birth. They'll forward the details by post to the registrar for the district where your baby was stillborn, and they'll complete the registration from the information you've supplied. This is called registering a stillbirth by declaration.

Getting support when your baby dies

Getting the right practical and emotional support at such a sad time is really important for you and your wider family.

Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity. supports anyone who's been affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth.  They operate throughout the UK, promoting research to reduce the loss of babies' lives and offering emotional support and information for parents, grandparents, siblings, children, families and friends, healthcare professionals and others.

Visit the support section of Sands website to access their bereavement support pack and all the information you need to support you practically and emotionally.