Registering and naming your baby
Babies born in Northern Ireland must be registered within 42 days of the birth. A baby can be registered in any District Registration office in Northern Ireland.
All registration offices in NI run by appointment only
You can get contact details of your local registration office at this link:
For more information on how to register a birth, check your local council website.
Register with a GP practice
The registrar will give you an Infant Registration Card (HS123) and you can use this to register your baby as a patient with your GP practice.
Life Event Certificates in Irish and Bi-lingual English and Irish
The Marriage, Civil Partnership and Civil Registration (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 came into effect on Friday 11 March. It allows certificates for new registrations to be produced with headings in Irish or bi-lingual English and Irish.
When filling in the birth registration form you can choose to get your certificates in English, Irish or bi-lingual English and Irish.
All certificates produced from the registration will be in the language format selected and cannot be changed. The legislation applies to registrations going forward and will not apply retrospectively to life events already registered which will continue to be available in English only.
Registering a birth
The birth of a baby can be registered by:
- the mother or father (if married to each other or in an opposite sex civil partnership with each other)
- the mother or second female parent (if they are married or in a civil partnership with each other at time of donor insemination or fertility treatment)
- the father and mother (if unmarried)
In the case of a child born to an unmarried couple or a couple not in an opposite sex civil partnership, the name of the father may only be recorded in the entry if both parents are there to sign the register together or a declaration of paternity is produced.
- the mother and second female parent (if not in a civil partnership)
Where the female couple are not in a civil partnership, the name of the second female parent may only be recorded if the couple were treated together in the UK by a licensed clinic and have both gave written consent to the second female parent being included as the legal parent.
In this case both parents must be there to sign the registration together.
- uncle or aunt 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
In the case of a child born to an unmarried couple or a couple not in an opposite sex civil partnership, the name of the father may only be recorded in the entry of birth if both parents are there to sign the registration. If you cannot attend the registration office together you should contact your local registration office for further advice. You can get details of your local registration office at the following link:
An unmarried father or a father not in an opposite sex civil partnership 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, where the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 applies to the birth, either parent can register the birth.
Where the female couple are not in a civil partnership, the mother must register the birth. The name of her partner can 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.
Documents and information needed
You will need to provide the following to register a birth:
- a birth registration form filled in by the person registering the birth
- full name of the baby
- 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
Filling in the registration form
You can download the registration form at the link below.
A birth registration cannot be easily changed once finished so make sure to fill in the registration form carefully.
The Registrar will advise you on forwarding finished forms when you are booking your appointment with any district registration office in Northern Ireland.
Documents you will receive
Once the registration is completed, the Registrar will give you one free short birth certificate and an Infant Registration Card (HS123) to register with the family doctor and get a medical card.
Extra copies of a birth certificate
Birth certificates, either short or long, can be bought from the Registrar at the time of registration for £8.00 per copy.
If you need to order extra copies of birth certificate after registration, you can find out more about ordering from the General Register Office.
Re-registration of a birth
If the Courts in Northern Ireland have issued a Declaration of Parentage under Article 31B of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (NI) Order 1989 or Parental Responsibility Order under Article 7 of the Children (NI) Order 1995 then the father and or the mother should fill in form GRO 12 - and send to the General Register Office with the court order.
If the child’s parents have signed a Parental Responsibility Agreement under Article 7 of the Children (NI) Order 1995 in court, then the father and or the mother should fill in form GRO 12 and send to the General Register Office with the agreement
All court orders and agreements should be either stamped by the courts or your legal representatives as a true copy of the original.
Where a child has been born to an unmarried couple who have since married or since formed a civil partnership, you should fill in form GRO 15.
Completed forms should be sent or brought in person to the General Register Office.
Correcting a birth certificate
Occasionally an error may appear on a birth certificate, for example an incorrect address or wrong date.
You should fill in the following form to tell the General Register Office of the correction needed.
Finished forms should be sent or brought in person to the General Register Office.