A still-born child is legally defined as a child 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 still-born, the doctor or midwife who was present at the birth or examined the baby will issue a medical certificate of still-birth. This certificate must be taken to the register office.
Where and when to register a still-birth
Every still-birth in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place. If the still-birth takes place in Newcastle upon Tyne then the registration should take place in our register office, where we offer an appointment system. Please contact us to make an appointment.
If it is not possible to attend this office, it is possible to register at a more convenient register office by means of a legal declaration. Please bear with us as this may delay the issue of relevant documents for a few days. Please contact the register office for further details.
Parents married to each other
If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the still-birth, either parent 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 still-birth, information about the mother of the child will always be included in the register.
Information about the father (or second parent) may only be included in the register in the following circumstances:
- Both parents 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 still-births are registered by the parents, if it is difficult for them to attend, other people may be able to attend to provide the information. For example, this may be someone from the hospital where the still-birth took place.
Please contact the register office for further information.
Information needed by registrar
The following information must be supplied to the registrar for the registration of a still-birth:
- date and place of still-birth
- the forename(s) and surname, if the parents wish to name the child
- the sex of the baby
Parents' details required
- forename(s) and surname
- date and place of birth
Additional details required for the mother
- maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married
- usual address at the date of the still-birth
- date of marriage, if married to the father of the child
Certificate of still-birth registration
A certificate of still-birth registration will be issued. This certificate includes any names given and the date of the still-birth.
Certificate for burial or cremation
We will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the still-born child, so that a funeral can take place.