Register a stillbirth


How to register a stillborn child

A stillbirth should be reported within 42 days of the delivery.

A stillborn baby can be registered after 42 days in some cases; the register office can tell you when this is the case. The baby might be given a name in the register.

To register the stillborn baby, go to a registry office.

A stillbirth must be reported within 21 days in Scotland. A stillbirth may be registered in Northern Ireland for up to one year.

Who has the authority to register the birth of a stillborn baby?

Either the mother or father can register the newborn if the parents are married or in a civil partnership.

If the following conditions are met, the mother is eligible to register:

  • the parents of the child are not married or in a civil partnership.
  • The father’s identity is unknown or cannot be traced.

If the father reports the stillborn baby but the parents are not married or in a civil partnership, the mother will be required to sign a “signed declaration” (the register office can explain how to do this).

The registration office can inform you what you need to do if both parents want the father’s name in the registry but who are not married or in a civil partnership.

If the child was created as a result of fertility therapy, the stillbirth might be registered by the following people:

  • one’s mother
  • the father, if the mother was married or in a civil partnership with him at the time of treatment.
  • the mother’s second female parent, if they were married or in a civil partnership at the time of treatment.

If neither parent is able to enroll,

A stillborn child can be registered by the following people:

  • the owner or occupier of the hospital or residence where the stillbirth occurred
  • a witness to the stillbirth
  • a person who is in charge of the stillborn child
  • If the date and location of the stillbirth are uncertain, the person who discovered the stillborn child.

What documents are required?

You’ll find out what documents you’ll need at the register office. You have the option of planning a funeral for your child.

Financial assistance and time off work

Following a stillbirth, you are usually entitled to the following benefits:

  • If you’re employed, you’ll be entitled to maternity pay and leave.
  • Maternity Allowance – if you don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay
  • If you’re working, paternity pay and leave
  • Paid and unpaid parental bereavement leave if you’re working

Organizations that help people

The organizations listed below provide assistance and guidance:

  • Sands
  • Tommy’s.