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Registering and naming your baby

Babies born in Northern Ireland must be registered within 42 days of the birth. A baby may be registered in any District Registration office in Northern Ireland.

Who should register the birth?

For married couples, either parent can register the birth on their own.

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 are there to 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, acquires parental responsibilities for children born on or after 15 April 2002.

For female couples in a civil partnership, either parent may register the birth. Where the female couple are not in a civil partnership, the mother must register the birth and the name of her partner may only be registered if the partner satisfies the agreed female parenthood conditions as set out in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. In this case both parents must be there to sign the registration together.

The following people may also register the birth:

  • 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
  • the occupier of the premises where the baby was born

You can find details of District Registration offices at the page below:

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 119 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 get 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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