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It can be very daunting to have to face registering a stillbirth. You can find guidance here to help you through the process, or if you would prefer to speak to someone personally, contact your local register office.

Stillbirths should usually be registered within 42 days of the stillbirth. This can be done at the local register office.

What is a stillbirth

A stillbirth is when a baby born after the 24th week of pregnancy does not breathe or show any other sign of life after birth.

A birth which takes place after 24 weeks of pregnancy, where it is known that the foetus died in utero before the 24th week is not regarded as a stillbirth.

How to register

The doctor or registered midwife will give you a stillbirth certificate so that you can register it. It is also a way of officially acknowledging your baby’s existence and confirming that you are the baby’s parents.

If the parents are married to each other, either parent can register the stillbirth. If the parents are not married to each other, then:

  • if you want the father’s details to be entered in the register, both parents can sign the stillbirth register together.
  • if the father is unable to go to the register office, but you still want his details included, he will need to make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity. You will need to give this 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. You will need to give this to the registrar.

You can add the father’s details at a later date by re-registering the stillbirth.

If neither the mother nor father can attend, the following people can register:

  • the occupier of the hospital or house 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

Contact the team

You can register a stillbirth at any of our offices in either Somerset or North Somerset, depending on where the event happened.

Contact details and opening times of our Register Office and all our Registration Offices can be found on our Registration Contacts page.

Last reviewed: April 30, 2024 by Daniel

Next review due: October 30, 2024

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