We understand that it can be very daunting to have to face registering a still-birth. These pages will give you guidance on what is required and what is involved - but if you would rather speak to someone personally please contact the Nominated Officer at this office (tel: 0116 252 7000).
What is the legal definition of a still-birth?
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 signs of life. (A child who breathed or showed other signs of life is considered live-born for registration purposes, irrespective of the number of weeks duration of the pregnancy.)
Why is registration necessary?
Still-birth registration began in 1927 to help protect infant life. As well as being an important source of historical information, it gives the parents the opportunity to have their child officially acknowledged and to give him or her a name.
Who can register the birth?
- The father of the baby if he was married to the mother at the time of the still-birth.
- The mother and the father jointly if they are not married to each other at the time of the still-birth.
- The mother or the father, attending alone, if they were not married at the time of the still-birth, bringing with them an appropriate prescribed legal document signed by the other parent. Enquire about this document at any Register Office.
When and where do I go to register?
Still-births should normally be registered within 42 days. A still-birth cannot be registered more than 3 months after the date of the still-birth.
The still-birth will normally be registered at the office for the district in which it happened. If this is not convenient for you, you may go to any other office in England and Wales. In this circumstance, a still-birth declaration will be taken and sent to the registration office in the district where the still-birth took place.
At most registration offices an appointment is required. Please telephone to make your appointment.
What documents do I need?
All you need to take is the medical certificate of still-birth issued by the doctor or midwife present at the time.
What information will I be asked for?
- date and place of stillbirth
- the forenames and surname, if the parents wish to name the stillborn child.
- forename(s) and surname.
- date and place of birth.
- maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married.
- date and place of birth.
- usual address at the time of the stillbirth.
- date of marriage, if married to the still-born child's father at the time of the stillbirth.
- number of previous children by the present husband and by any former husband.
What certificates will be issued?
A certificate of registration will be issued free of charge, to the person who registers the still-birth. The certificate provides proof that the still-birth has been registered. Any names given to the child and entered in the register will be recorded on the certificate of registration.
At the time of registration one or more certificates may be bought by the mother or father. (The father's details will need to be recorded in the entry for him to be able to obtain a certificate). Any application from someone other than the mother or father will need to be sent to the General Register Office, Certificate Production Unit, PO Box 2, Southport, PR8 2JD, giving full details of the purpose for which the certificate is required.
The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation. The certificate is normally handed to the funeral director or hospital making the arrangements. A funeral cannot take place until this certificate is given to the burial authority or the crematorium.
Should you require any help please telephone your local Register Office, where the staff will gladly give you further help and advice.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE REGISTER OFFICE FOR THE CITY OF LEICESTER:
- General enquiries tel: 0116 252 7000
- Appointments to register a still-birth tel: 0116 252 7000