Stillborn babies

Registering a stillbirth

If a baby is stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, it needs to be registered. You can do this at hospital if a registrar is present, or at a registration office in the district where the stillbirth happened. To make this as easy as possible, we advise that you book an appointment in advance. See contact details for Registration Offices.

You will be given a medical certificate of stillbirth by the midwife or doctor, which you will need to give to the registrar. If no midwife or doctor was present at the time of the stillbirth, you will need to contact your GP.

When you register, you can ask to have a first name entered on the register for a stillborn baby. Ideally you should complete this registration within three months of the stillbirth although it can be done up to twelve months from the date of the stillbirth.

Who can register a stillbirth?

If you are married, either the mother or father can register the stillbirth.

If you are not married, the mother must complete the registration. If you want to have both parents' names on the registration certificate, then the father will also need to attend.

You will be given a stillbirth certificate and a certificate for burial or cremation (often called a 'green' certificate). There is no charge for registering a stillbirth.

Getting copies of stillbirth certificates

If you need further copies, please ask when you attend the Registrar's office and we can supply them for you.

At a later date copies should be bought from the General Register Office. More information is available on the Gov.uk website.

Arranging a funeral

Stillborn babies must be buried or cremated. You can choose to organise a funeral yourself, or the hospital where the stillbirth occurred can do it for you.

If the stillbirth didn't happen at hospital, your local hospital can still arrange these details for you. Your midwife will be able to contact them about this. Detailed information about all the options available to you is available from the SANDS, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, website.

Find out more about arranging civil funerals and remembrance ceremonies.

Advice and support

Support for parents and other relatives of stillborn children is available from:

If you are receiving direct mail from companies selling baby-related items you can stop them by registering your details on the Baby Mailing Preference Service website.