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Registering and naming your baby

Your baby may be registered in any District Registration office in Northern Ireland.

Legal requirements

Babies born in Northern Ireland must be registered within 42 days of the birth.

Who should register the birth?

For married couples either parent can register the birth on their own. However, in the case of a child born to an unmarried couple, the name of the father may only be recorded in the entry of birth if both parents attend and sign the registration together or a declaration of paternity is produced.

An unmarried father who registers the birth of his child jointly with the child's natural mother, and has his name recorded on the birth registration form, will for children born on or after 15 April 2002, acquire parental responsibilities.

The following people may also register the birth:

  • the grandmother
  • grandfather
  • uncle or aunt of the baby who has knowledge of the birth
  • any person present at the birth
  • any person having charge of the child or
  • the occupier of the premises where the baby was born.

What you need to register a birth

You will need to provide the following to register a birth:

  • a birth registration form filled in by the person registering the birth (usually the mother)
  • full name of the baby - you can register your child's name in any language providing you use any unicode character
  • sex and date of birth of the baby
  • district and place of birth of the baby
  • full names and dates of birth of parents
  • full addresses and occupations of the parents
  • Registration of a birth - form GRO 4 (PDF 23 KB)
  • Help with PDF files

Documents you will receive

Once the registration is completed, the Registrar will issue one free short birth certificate and an Infant Registration Card (HS123) to register with the family doctor and obtain a medical card.

Please note that a birth registration cannot be easily changed once completed.

Additional copies of birth certificates

Birth certificates, either short or full, may be purchased from the Registrar at the time of registration for £8 per copy.

After the registration, copies of birth certificates can be purchased from the General Register Office at a fee of £15 for the first copy and £8 for each additional copy purchased at the same time.

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