How to register a stillbirth

Read through our guidance below or get in touch with our team who will guide you through the legal requirements and next steps.

When should I register the stillbirth of my baby?

The stillbirth of your baby should be registered within 42 days. You can name your baby in the register. You can also arrange a funeral for your baby.

Contact a register office to register the stillbirth.

Sometimes a stillbirth can be registered after 42 days. Please get in touch with us if you need this extra time.

The baby loss certificate service

If your pregnancy ends before 24 weeks, you can request a free certificate in memory of your baby.

You do not need to request a certificate, but if you would like to, you can do so via the website.

Who can register the stillbirth?

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

The mother can register if:

  • the baby’s parents are not married or in a civil partnership
  • the father cannot be traced or is unknown

If the parents aren’t married to each other or in a civil partnership, the father needs to attend the appointment with the mother so that his details are included on the registration. If the mother attends alone, no father's details will be recorded.

If the father registers the stillbirth on his own and he is not married to or in a civil partnership with the mother, the mother will need to complete a ‘statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage’ form. It will need to be signed by the mother in front of one of these people:

  • justice of the peace
  • magistrate
  • commissioner of oaths
  • practicing solicitor
  • notary public
  • licensed conveyancer
  • authorised advocate
  • authorised litigator

If the baby’s two female parents are not in a marriage or civil partnership together

So that both parents can be put on the record, they both need to attend the appointment. The parents will also need to meet the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act so both parents’ details can be included in the registration. If the birthing mother attends alone, no second female parent details will be recorded.

If the child was conceived as a result of fertility treatment

The following people can register the stillbirth: 

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

If neither parent can register

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 documents will I need?

If your baby was stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, the doctor or midwife will send a medical certificate of stillbirth to the registrar. If no doctor or midwife was present and no doctor or midwife has examined your baby, a Form 35 must be signed. The registrar will give this form to you at the appointment.

Support organisations

The following organisations give support and advice:

Sands, a pregnancy and baby loss charity in the UK

Tommy’s, a pregnancy charity

You can also find bereavement services from your local council using the search.