Registering a Stillbirth

We understand that it can be very daunting to have to face registering 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.

When a child is stillborn, the doctor or midwife who was present at the birth or examined the baby will issue a medical certificate of stillbirth. This certificate will be required when you attend the register office.

To arrange an appointment please telephone 0300 303 2472. Calls will be answered Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4.30pm.

A stillbirth can only be registered in the district where the event took place. 

If the stillbirth took place in Cumbria please book an appointment as follows: 

1 Telephone

Call: 0300 303 2472

Calls will be answered Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4.30pm

Due to high call volumes we recommend booking online if you are able to do so.

2 In Person

We would discourage clients from calling at the office to make an appointment as our staff will be engaged with clients.  This may result in a lengthy wait until someone is able to make an appointment for you.  This is unlikely to be for the same day.  If you wish to do so our service points are listed here:

Cumbria Registration Service Points


Stillbirths in England and Wales should normally be registered within 42 days of the stillbirth.

Should the stillbirth not be registered within the 42 days, please contact our office on 0300 303 2472 and we will support and guide you through the process. 

Any stillbirths registered after 12 months will need to be authorised by the Registrar General for England and Wales.

A stillbirth must be registered in the district in which it takes place. If it is not possible to attend a registration office within the district then it is possible to register at a more convenient registration office by means of a legal declaration. This may delay the issue of relevant documents for a few days.

Stillbirth registration began on 1st July 1927 to help protect infant life.  It gives parents the opportunity to have their child officially acknowledged and to give him or her names if they wish to.  It is also an important source of historical and statistical information

Parents married to each other
If the parents of the child are married to each other at the time of the stillbirth, either the mother or father may register.

Parents not married to each other
If the parents of the child were not married to each other at the time of the stillbirth, information about the mother of the child will always be included in the register.
Information about the father may only be included in the register in the following circumstances:
·        the mother and father attend the register office and sign the register together
·        either parent can attend the register office with a statutory declaration acknowledging parentage from the other partner
Although the majority of stillbirths are registered by the parents, if it is difficult for them to attend, other people may be able to attend to provide the information. This may often be people in authority from the hospital where the stillbirth took place.

The information detailed below will be required:

* Date and place of stillbirth
* Forename(s) and Surname, if the parents wish to name the child
* Sex of the baby

* Forename(s)
* Surname
* Maiden name (if married)
* Date of birth
* Place of birth (town and county)
* Address of mother at time of stillbirth
* Occupation (at the time of baby's stillbirth or if not employed at that time, last previous employment)
* If married to father at time of stillbirth - date of marriage
* No. of previous children

FATHER  (where these details are to be entered in the register - see note above)
* Forename(s)
* Surname
* Date of birth
* Place of birth (town and county)
* Occupation at time of stillbirth, or if not employed at that time, last previous employment

It is important that the information supplied is accurate as any corrections to the register may be difficult to make later.

Certificate of registration

A certificate of registration will be issued free of charge to the person who registers the stillbirth. This certificate provides proof that the stillbirth has taken place. It includes any names given and the date of the stillbirth.

Certificate for burial or cremation

The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the stillborn child. This certificate would normally be given to the funeral director who was making the arrangements. No funeral for the child can take place without this certificate.


We recommend that each parent/informant brings a form of identification to the registration as this is a legal document and it is essential that the information recorded is correct.

During the registration you will be asked by the registrar to check the information recorded in the register is correct.  It is important that you take the time to ensure you have given the correct information, but also that the registrar has recorded it correctly.

Please note after the registration has been completed and you have signed the document, any applications to correct the entry will incur a charge.

A charge of £ 75 will be made to consider the request at your local registration office or alternatively if the request for a correction has to be made to the General Register Office then a fee of £ 90 will apply.

Payment of this fee does not guarantee the correction will be granted and fees paid will not be refunded if the request is denied.


Fees are set by Parliament and reviewed regularly.

All certificates purchased are Crown Copyright and may not be photocopied.