Registering a stillbirth
Registering the stillbirth of a child is no doubt the farthest thing from a grieving parent’s mind. There are family members who can help and while you must register a stillbirth by law, you do have one year from the date of the stillbirth to complete the registration.
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 stillbirth 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.
People who can register a stillbirth
The following people may register a stillbirth:
- the mother or father
- the mother or second female parent (if in a civil partnership with each other at time of donor insemination or fertility treatment)
- 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 present to sign the registration together.
- aunt or uncle who has knowledge of the birth
- any person present at the birth
- the occupier of the premises in which the baby was born
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 name of the second female parent may only be recorded 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.
How to register
To register a stillbirth you will need to provide a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner (or registered midwife) that was present at the stillbirth or has examined the body of the stillborn child.
You will also need to give the following information:
- full name and sex of the stillborn child
- date of the stillbirth
- district and place of stillbirth
- full names and dates of birth of the parents
- full addresses and occupations of the parents
You must register a stillbirth in person, but you can do it at any District Registrar's office in Northern Ireland.
You have one year from the date of the stillbirth to finish the registration.
Once the registration is finished, the Registrar will issue a stillbirth certificate free of charge.
Order a stillbirth certificate
If you need to order a certified copy of a stillbirth certificate, the procedure differs slightly from other types of certificate. Only certain family members related to the stillborn baby can order the certificate. They are:
- mother or father (if named on the certificate)
- aunts or uncles
- brothers or sisters
|Type of certificate||fee (excluding postage)|
Two or more certified copies of the same entry
(applied for at the same time)
first copy will be charged at £15.00
extra copies cost £8.00 each
|Priority certificate (certificate fee plus priority fee)||£20.00|
The following amounts will be added to your payment to cover postage costs:
|Country||one certificate||two certificates||three certificates||four or more certificates|
|Rest of the world||£1.20||£2.03||£2.03||£3.43|
* £6.20 for guaranteed next day delivery within the UK
You can download a stillbirth certificate application form at the following link:
Stillbirth certificates are ordered through the General Register Office - you won’t be able to order at a district registration office. You can pay by cash, cheque or postal order. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to The Registrar General.
If you are unsure of the date of the stillbirth, you can contact the General Register Office (GRONI) to ask for a search of the register to be carried out.
The fee is £7.00 for each five year period or part of it. The results of the search will be sent to the applicant in a letter. A certificate can be sent when an extra £8.00 fee is paid.