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Stillbirths

Image representing StillbirthsA stillborn child is legally defined as a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy who did not show any signs of life at the birth. Stillbirths should normally be registered within 42 days.

Registration of a stillborn child gives the parents the opportunity to have their child officially acknowledged, to give their baby a name if they wish to, and to have a funeral for the baby.


Where Will The Baby Be Registered?

The baby will be registered in the district where the stillbirth took place. However, it is possible to attend any other Register Office in England and Wales to give the details required; they will then be forwarded to the correct office by post. Certificates and any other documents will be posted out once the baby has been registered. Registering this way takes longer than if you can attend the registering office in person.

Please note that many Register Offices have an appointment system in place.

Please telephone for an appointment to register – it can be particularly distressing if you have to wait for the next available appointment.


Who Should Register?

If the child’s parents were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth or conception, either parent can attend to register. If parents are not married, mother can attend alone, but only the child’s and the mother’s details can be entered.
When parents are not married, and the father’s details are to be entered in the registration:

  • Both parents attend together.
  • Or - Mother, with a Statutory Declaration made out by the father acknowledging his paternity (forms can be obtained from the Register Office).
  • Or - if the mother is unable to attend with the father, she may make a Statutory Declaration acknowledging the father’s paternity, which the father must bring with him if he attends alone.
  • Or - if the father’s particulars are not recorded in the entry, it may be possible to re-register the stillbirth at a later date to include his details.


Although the majority of stillbirths are registered by the parents, there may be an occasion when neither are able to attend. In this case, the following people can register the stillbirth:

  • The occupier of the house or Hospital where the stillbirth took place.
  • Someone who was present at the birth.
  • Someone who is responsible for the stillborn child
  • The person who found the stillborn child.

If the informant does not speak English very well, and may find it difficult to understand the questioning, they are welcome to bring a friend or relative along as an interpreter to help, although they won’t be able to sign the register on the informant’s behalf.


What Documents Are Required?

You will need to take the medical certificate of stillbirth issued by the doctor or midwife.


What Information Is Required?

Child

  • Date and place of stillbirth.
  • Forename(s) and surname, if the parents wish to name the child.
  • Sex of child.


Father (where his details are to be entered)

  • Forename(s) and surname.
  • Date and place of birth.
  • Occupation at the time of the stillbirth, or last occupation if unemployed.


Mother

  • Forename(s) and surname.
  • Maiden name if the mother is, or has been, married.
  • Date and place of birth.
  • Occupation at the time of the stillbirth (or last occupation if mother wishes to record an occupation).
  • Usual address at the date of the stillbirth.
  • Date of marriage, if married to the child’s father at the time of the stillbirth.
  • Number of previous children by the present and/or former husband.


Obtaining Stillbirth Certificates

Due to the sensitive nature of stillbirth registrations, the procedure for ordering certificates differs from other types of registration. The cost of certificates at the time of registration is £4.00, and there is no restriction on the number of certificates purchased. Certificates issued at a later date can only be issued on production of a certificate application form (available from the Register Office), which must be completed by the child’s mother or father (if the father’s details are included in the entry). Only registers in current use are held at the local Register Office – certificates from older registers can only be obtained from the General Register Office. For further information including costs of certificates please telephone 0845 603 7788.
 

Contact Information
Contact by Post

The Register Office
Dukinfield Town Hall
King Street
Dukinfield
SK16 4LA
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 5032
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