Registering a stillbirth

We help to ensure that the registration of the stillbirth of your baby goes as easily as possible during this difficult time.

Who can register a stillbirth

Legally, the only people who can register a stillbirth are:

  • the mother
  • the father (if married to the mother)
  • a person present at the stillbirth or
  • the person who found the stillborn child

When to register a stillbirth

A stillborn baby is legally defined as a child born with no signs of life after the 24th week of pregnancy. If the baby was born showing any signs of life, you must register both the baby's birth and death separately. You should do this within 42 days of, but no longer than three months, after the birth of your baby.

Document you'll need for registration

  • medical certificate of stillbirth

The doctor or midwife who attended the birth or examined the baby's body afterwards will issue a medical certificate of stillbirth. The person who registers the stillbirth must take this certificate to the registrar's office. The stillbirth is then entered into the stillbirth register and a record of this is then signed by the person registering the stillbirth.

Certificate you'll be issued with

  • certificate of stillbirth

You're able to register at the Southwark Register Office after making an appointment. If you decide to register at any other register office in England and Wales, you'll need to make what is called 'a declaration'. In this case, the certificate of stillbirth (which may be ordered and paid for at the time of making the declaration) as well as the document for the burial or cremation will be posted.

Page last updated: 04 August 2017