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.

People who can register a stillbirth

The following people may register a stillbirth:

  • the mother or father/ second female parent (if married/ in a civil partnership)
  • the mother and father/ second female parent (if unmarried or in a civil partnership)
  • the mother or father (if unmarried)
  • grandmother
  • grandfather
  • 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 provide 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 complete the registration.

Once the registration is completed, 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)
  • grandparents
  • aunts or uncles
  • brothers or sisters

Fees

Type of certificate fee (excluding postage)
Stillbirth certificate  £15.00

Two or more certified copies of the same entry

(applied for at the same time)

first copy will be charged at £15.00

additional copies cost £8.00 each

Priority certificate (certificate fee plus priority fee)  £20.00

Postage charges

The following amounts will be added to your payment to cover postage costs:

Country one certificate  two certificates three certificates four or more certificates
UK 0* 0* 0* 0*
Europe £0.90 £1.37  £1.37  £2.27
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 link below.

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 issued when an additional £8.00 fee is paid.

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