Toggle mobile menu visibility

Register a stillbirth or apply for a baby loss certificate

Register a stillbirth 

If your baby was born on or after the 24th week of pregnancy, but did not breathe or show any signs of life, you will need to register a stillbirth.  

We understand this is a very difficult time. Registration staff will help you register the stillbirth and advise on other things you will need to consider. 

There is no fee to register. If you wish, you can name your baby in the register. 

The baby loss certificate service 

If your pregnancy ends before 24 weeks, you can get a certificate in memory of your baby. It's free to get a certificate. 

You can apply for a certificate if your pregnancy ended on or after 1 September 2018.

You do not need to request a certificate if you prefer not to. It's optional.  

Visit GOV.UK for more information or to apply for a baby loss certificate.  

Who can register a stillbirth

Mixed-sex couples

Married or civil-partner parents

If the parents of the child were married or in a civil partnership with each other at the time of the stillbirth, or conception, either the mother or the father may register.

Please note - A 'civil-partner' is someone that you have been through a legal ceremony with for the formation of a civil partnership.

Unmarried, non-civil-partner parents

If the parents were not married or in a civil partnership with each other at the time of the stillbirth, information about the father may be entered in the register if

The mother can choose to register the stillbirth without the child's father if they're not married or in a civil partnership. The father's details will not be included on the birth certificate.

If the information about the father is not recorded, it may be possible for the stillbirth to be re-registered to include his details at a later date. Ask the registrar about this.

Same-sex female couples

Female couples can include both their names on their child's stillbirth certificate when registering in the following instances.

Married or civil-partner parents

Please note - A 'civil-partner' is someone that you have been through a legal ceremony with for the formation of a civil partnership.

Either parent can register the stillbirth on their own if all the following are true:

  • the mother has a child by donor insemination or fertility treatment
  • she was married or in a civil partnership with the second female parent at the time of the treatment

Unmarried, non-civil-partner parents

When a mother is not married or in a civil partnership, her partner can be seen as the child's second parent if both women:

  • are treated together in the UK by a licensed clinic
  • have made a 'parenthood agreement'

However, for both parents' details to be recorded on the stillbirth certificate, they must do one of the following:

Other people who may register stillbirths

Although the majority of stillbirths are registered by the parents, sometimes neither the mother nor the father/second parent is able to do this.

In these circumstances, the registration may be completed by whichever of the following people is best able to do so:

  • The occupier of the house or hospital where the child was stillborn. An informant from the hospital must be of administrative grade
  • A person who was present at the stillbirth
  • A person who is responsible for the stillborn child


Paperwork issued after the appointment

The registrar will issue a free certificate for burial or cremation. We will email this to the appointed funeral director. The funeral can then take place.  

We will provide a free certificate of registration at the appointment. The certificate provides proof that you have registered a stillbirth. The certificate will show any names you have given to your child but not the parent's details.

At the appointment, we will offer you a full certificate of the register entry. The full certificate includes parents' details and is free of charge to the parents. Additional full certificates cost £12.50 each.  

If you are not recorded as a parent in the register entry but you want to apply for a full certificate:

  • Send your request to: General Register Office, Certificate Production 1, PO Box 2,  Southport, PR8 2JD 
  • Include full details of why you wish to have a certificate


What to take to the appointment

The following information is required to register a stillbirth:

  • Date and place of stillbirth
  • The forename(s) and surname, if the parents wish to name the child
  • The sex of the child

Information relating to the mother needed for the registration:

  • 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
  • Date of marriage, if married to the child's father at the time
  • Number of previous children by the present husband and by any former husband

Information relating to the father needed for the registration (if his details are to be entered into the register):

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

This information is recorded in a register and the person registering signs the record.

It is most important that the information recorded in the register is correct. Any error found before the register is signed can be corrected easily, but errors spotted after the record has been signed are more complicated to correct.

If the person registering has difficulty in communicating in English they should bring along a friend or relative to act as interpreter. However the parents must register personally, as a friend or relative cannot register instead of them (unless they were present at the birth).


Where and when to register a stillbirth

The stillbirth must be registered in the district in which it takes place, normally within 42 days. In Norfolk this is can be at any of our registration offices.

To book an appointment to register a stillbirth in any Norfolk registration office call 01603 306149. Select option 4 to speak to a member of staff in one of our full-time offices.

If a stillbirth takes place in Norfolk but you live outside Norfolk, you have the option to make a declaration at any register office in England or Wales. Find your local register office on GOV.UK. If you make a declaration, the office you visit will take the information for the registration and send this on to us. When you make a declaration, it may take a few days for you to receive the paperwork. Either contact your local register office to book a declaration appointment, or we can explain more about the declaration process if you call 01603306149, option 4.

If you live in Norfolk but the stillbirth occurred elsewhere in England or Wales, you have the option to make a declaration in Norfolk. When you make a declaration, it may take a few days for you to receive the paperwork. To make a declaration in Norfolk, or to find out more, call 01603306149, option 4.


Bereavement support and other support services

Support and advice for parents whose child was stillborn is available from the following organisations: 

We also offer further Bereavement support advice. 

Visit GOV.UK to find out about financial support as well as taking time off work. 


Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon