Registering a birth

1. Birth registration

Book online

  • Your registration interview will be by telephone.
  • The registrar will arrange a time for you to visit the register office to check and sign the register page.
  • Your appointment to sign the register will take place with social distancing measures in place.
  • You will need to bring a blue or black biro/ball point pen to sign with.
  • In line with Government guidelines, face coverings must be worn by all visitors to our Register Offices. You may be asked to temporarily remove your face covering for identification purposes.
  • Order birth certificates online after the page is signed.

2. Where to register a birth

Babies born in East Sussex;

(excludes Brighton & Hove)

Book online

  • Your registration appointment will be by telephone.
  • The registrar will arrange a time for you to visit one of our register offices to check and sign the register page.
  • Your appointment to sign the register will take place either in the car park or at the doors to the register office (dependent on site facilities).
  • In line with Government guidelines, face coverings must be worn by all visitors to our Register Offices. You may be asked to temporarily remove your face covering for identification purposes.
  • You will need to bring a blue or black biro/ball point pen to sign with.
  • Order birth certificates online after the page is signed.

Babies born elsewhere;

The birth should be registered by the registrar for the district where the birth took place. Find a register office

We have special arrangements with Brighton & Hove City Council and West Sussex County Council for East Sussex residents who gave birth in their administrative areas;

Brighton & Hove;

Residents of Brighton & Hove who gave birth outside of East Sussex County Council’s administrative area cannot register at East Sussex register offices.

West Sussex;

Residents of West Sussex who gave birth outside of East Sussex County Council’s administrative area cannot register at East Sussex register offices.

3. Your telephone appointment

The registrar will call you on the phone number you provide when you book your appointment.

  • This call may come from a ‘withheld’ or ‘unknown’ number.
  • Although we will try to call you at the appointment time, we may call up to 30 minutes before or after the arranged time.
  • If you miss your call, the registrar will try again up to 3 times.
  • If something happens which prevents you from being able to answer, or you need to change your appointment, call us on 0345 60 80 198.

See our Privacy Notice for more information about how we use your data.

4. Who can register a birth

Opposite-sex couples

Married or civil-partner parents

Either parent can register the birth on their own. They can include both parents’ details if they were married or in a civil partnership when the baby was born or conceived.

Book online to register a birth

Unmarried parents

The details of both parents can be included on the birth certificate if they both sign the birth register.

During the telephone appointment, the registrar will need to speak to both parents. In exceptional circumstances, if the parents are at separate locations, the registrar can arrange to call each parent separately.

Book online to register a birth

Same-sex female couples

Married or civil-partner parents

Either parent can register the birth on their own if both of these statements are true:

  • The mother has a child by donor insemination or fertility treatment.
  • She was married or in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment.

Book online to register a birth

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 birth certificate, they must both sign the register.

During the telephone appointment, the registrar will need to speak to both parents. In exceptional circumstances, if the parents are at separate locations, the registrar can arrange to call each parent separately.

Book online to register a birth

Same-sex male couples

Male couples must get a parental order from the court before they can be registered as parents.

Other people who can register a birth

In exceptional circumstances, if the parents cannot register the birth (for example, for medical reasons) certain other people can do it:

  • Someone who was present at the birth.
  • Someone who is legally responsible for the child.
  • A member of the administrative staff at the hospital where the child was born.

Please call us on 0345 60 80 198 to arrange to register in these circumstances.

5. What you need to tell the registrar

During your telephone appointment, the registrar will ask you;

  • When was the birth
  • Where did it happen
  • The full names of the parent(s) (including alternative and previous names)
  • Dates and places of birth of the parent(s)
  • The occupations of the parent(s)

You will also be given an appointment to come to the office to check and sign the register page.

You MUST check the entry carefully before signing, a correction to a birth register entry will cost up to £90 plus the cost of replacement certificates.

Certificates can only be issued after the register page is signed.

See our Privacy Notice for more information about how we use your data.

6. Birth certificates

Order birth certificates online after the register entry is signed.

7. Perjury warning

Any person who knowingly and wilfully gives false information to a registrar for the purposes of the registration of a birth is liable to prosecution for perjury.

8. Child Benefit and Universal Credit

You can make a claim for Child Benefit or Universal Credit prior to the birth being registered, where you have not been able to do so because of Coronavirus measures.