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Registering a stillbirth

When a child is stillborn, the doctor or midwife who is present at the birth or examined the baby will issue a medical certificate of stillbirth. This certificate must be taken to the register office.

Every stillbirth in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place. If you're unable attend the local office, you can register at a more convenient office. This may delay the issue of relevant documents for a few days. All stillbirths must normally be registered within 42 days, and cannot be registered more than three months after its occurrence.

Who can register the stillbirth

If the parents were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth or conception, then either can register. If they were not married, then registration will depend on what details you want to include on the certificate -

  • If you want the father's details to be entered in the register, then both parents can go and sign the stillbirth register together
  • If the father is unable to go to the register office with the mother, but you still want his details included, then he can make a statutory declaration on Form 16 acknowledging his paternity - the mother must give to the registrar
  • If the mother is unable to go to the register office with the father, she may make a statutory declaration acknowledging the father's paternity on Form 16 which the father must give to the registrar.

If the father's details are not recorded in the stillbirth register, it may be possible for the stillbirth to be re-registered to include his details at a later date. Although the majority of stillbirths are registered by parents, sometimes neither the mother or the father is able to attend. In this case, registration can be made by -

  • the occupier of the house or hospital where the stillbirth took place
  • someone who was present at the stillbirth
  • someone who is responsible for the stillborn child
  • the person who found the stillborn child (where the date and place of the stillbirth are unknown)

Definition of stillbirth

A stillborn child is legally defined as a child after the week 24 of pregnancy who did not, at any time after being born breathe, or show other signs of life.

Provided documents

Certificate of registration
A certificate of registration is issued free of charge to the person who registers the stillbirth. This certificate provides proof that the stillbirth has taken place, and includes any names given and the date of the stillbirth.

Certificate for burial or cremation
The registrar will issue a certificate for the burial or cremation of the stillborn child. This certificate would normally be given to the funeral director who is making the arrangements. No funeral for the child can take place without this certificate (stillbirth certificate).

For further details click on the link to the left (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society)

What you will need

You will need to take the medical certificate of stillbirth issued by the doctor or midwife present at the time to the registrar. You will also be asked for the following information:


  • Date and place of stillbirth
  • The forename(s) and surname, if the parents wish to name the stillborn child (a name cannot be added after the registration is complete so it is very important to decide before this time if you are going to name the child )
  • Sex of the child


  • Forename(s) and surname
  • Maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the stillbirth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation
  • Usual address at the date of the stillbirth
  • Date of marriage, if married to the child's father, and number of any other children (including any previous stillborn children)

Father (where his information is to be entered in the register)

  • Forename(s) and surname
  • Date and place of birth
  • Occupation at the time of the stillbirth or, if not employed at that time, the last occupation

It is vital that all the information recorded in the stillbirth register is completely correct as mistakes can take a lot of time and trouble to put right. This is why the person registering the stillbirth should check the information very carefully before signing the entry.

How to register a stillbirth

A stillbirth must be registered in person at The Wilson Centre or at the hospital.

Payment for the service

After a stillbirth has been registered, a certificate showing the full details included in the entry may be purchased from the Registrar. The current fee for this certificate is £4.

Hull Registration Service

Hull Registration Service
The Wilson Centre CSC
Hull City Council
Alfred Gelder Street

Telephone: 01482 300 300
Text phone: 01482 300 349

Opening hours

Monday to Friday, 9am - 4.30pm
Saturday, 9am - 12noon
Sunday, closed

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