Guide: Register a death

Part 4 Special circumstances

Register a stillbirth

A stillbirth should be registered at a register office within 42 days.

Sometimes a stillbirth can be registered after 42 days – the register office can explain when this can happen. You can name the baby in the register.

Who can register the stillbirth

If the baby’s parents are married, either the mother or father can register.

The mother can sign if:

  • the baby’s parents aren’t married
  • the father can’t be traced or is unknown.

If both parents want the father’s name in the register:

  • both parents can sign the register together
  • the mother can sign and bring a ‘signed declaration’ from the father (the register office can explain how to do this).

If the father registers the stillbirth and the parents aren’t married, the mother will need to make a ‘signed declaration’ (the register office can explain how to do this).

If the child was conceived as a result of fertility treatment either of the following can register the stillbirth:

  • the mother
  • the father, if he was married to the mother at the time of treatment
  • the second female parent if she was in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of treatment.

If neither parent can attend then the following people can register the stillbirth:

  • the occupier of the hospital or house where the stillbirth took place
  • someone who was present at the stillbirth
  • someone who is responsible for the stillborn child
  • the person who found the stillborn child, if the date and place of the stillbirth are unknown.

What you need to take

You need the medical certificate of stillbirth issued by the doctor or midwife.

The following organisations give support and advice: