Registering a Stillbirth

Losing a child before it has been born is a tragic event, and registering your child as stillborn is always going to be a painful, if necessary task.

However, the registration is not difficult, and it allows you to have your stillborn child officially recognised. You can also give your child a name, although this is not a requirement.

The Registration Process

Some stillbirths are registered at the hospital, but if this does not happen, it can be done at the register office responsible for the district in . Registering a child as stillborn is similar to registering a birth – the registration must be done within six weeks of the stillbirth occurring, and the conditions for naming the parents of the child are the same.

The registrar will need information on the child and both parents (if there are two parents to register). Besides this information, all you will need is the medical certificate of stillbirth, issued by the doctor or midwife who oversaw the birth.

Stillbirth Certificate

You do not receive a stillbirth certificate for registering the stillbirth, but you can order one from the General Register Office for £9.25. Only a parent of the stillborn can apply for a stillbirth certificate – the only exception to this rule occurs if the parents are deceased.

In this event, a sibling of the stillborn can apply for the certificate, provided that they can give the give the dates on which the parents died.

Support for Stillborn Parents

There are societies dedicated to providing support and guidance for those affected by a stillbirth. The emotional impact of having a child pass away can be devastating, and the support of a organisation such as the Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS) can be invaluable.