If a baby is born without sign of life after the 24th week of pregnancy, it should be registered as stillborn.
- You can do this at a register office in the district where the stillbirth happened.
- Registering gives you the chance to officially name your baby.
- A medical certificate of stillbirth will be issued by the midwife or doctor, and sent directly to the registrar. If no midwife or doctor was present at the time of the stillbirth, you will need to contact your GP.
- You should register within three months.
- Call 0345 60 80 198 for an appointment at one of our Register Offices.
Guide to registering a stillbirth (gov.uk)
If you are married or in a civil partnership
- Either parent can register the stillbirth and both parents’ names will be recorded.
If you are not married or in a civil partnership
- The mother must complete the registration.
- If you want to have both parents’ names on the registration, both parents will need to be present.
There is no charge for registering a stillbirth and East Sussex County Council will not charge you for stillbirth certificates.
- These will be issued on the day, after you have registered.
- An order for burial or cremation will be sent directly to the crematorium or burial ground.
After registration, additional copies of the certificate can be bought from the General Register Office.
Stillborn babies must be buried or cremated. You can choose to organise a funeral yourself, or the hospital can do it for you.
If the stillbirth didn’t happen at hospital, your local hospital can still arrange a funeral for you. Your midwife will be able to contact them about this.
Detailed information about all the options available to you is available from SANDS – Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Society.
Support for parents and other relatives of stillborn children is available from:
- SANDS (Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Society)
- Stillbirth support (NHS website)
- JOEL The Complete Package – Supporting families through pregnancy and parenting after baby loss. (joeltcp.org)
- Petals Charity | The Baby Loss Counselling Charity
- The Miscarriage Association: Pregnancy loss information and support
- Sands | Saving babies’ lives. Supporting bereaved families.
- Together, for every baby – Charity for Babies | Tommy’s (tommys.org)
- For babies born premature or sick | Bliss
If you are receiving direct mail from companies selling baby-related items, then you can stop direct mail by registering your details with the Baby Mailing Preference Service.
To register a stillbirth you will need to share some personal information with us.
Please refer to our Privacy Notice for details about how and why we use your data.
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