Although registering a baby's death is distressing, for many parents it is one small way of beginning to cope with what has happened. If you really feel unable to cope with visiting the registrar in person, you can ask another "qualified informant" to deal with that for you, such as a grandparent or other close relative.
There is no legal requirement to register the birth or death of a baby stillborn before 24 weeks gestation. This is quite often referred to as a miscarriage. Parents who would like to hold a funeral for their baby will need a certificate or letter from the doctor or midwife to state that the baby showed no signs of life.
The doctor or midwife who attended the baby will give you a medical certificate of stillbirth. This is the certificate which has to be taken to the registrar, within 42 days of delivery.
The registrar will enter the baby's birth in a special stillbirth register. Baby's first name/s can be entered as well as the surname, so take some time to think of the name you would like to give to your baby before registering. Information you will be asked for will include:
The registrar will give you a "white certificate" which is free of charge, and this is needed before a funeral can take place. The registrar can also give you a Stillbirth Certificate for you to keep (also free of charge) which will show your baby's full name.
To contact the Register Office see our Registration Services contacts page.