Register a still birth
It is a time of great sadness when parents and families experience a stillbirth, and while it can be upsetting, registration is a legal requirement, so it is important that you understand what you need to do.
Step one: know the essentials
A child is legally defined as stillborn if they are born after week 24 of a pregnancy, and did not, at any time after being born, breathe or show any other signs of life. A child who breathed or showed other signs of life is considered live-born for registration purposes, however many weeks into the duration of the pregnancy and therefore must be registered, first as a birth, then as a death.
Every stillbirth in England and Wales must be registered in the district where it took place and normally within 42 days. A stillbirth may not be registered more than three months after it occurred.
Step two: make sure you have the right information
Getting the correct paperwork and knowing who can register the stillbirth is essential. Please check the government guidelines thoroughly before booking an appointment.
Step three: be aware of the costs
There is no cost for registering. A birth certificate is given to the parents at the time of declaration free of charge.
A certificate of registration will be issued free of charge to the person who completes the registration. This provides proof of registration. Any names given to the child and entered in the register will be recorded on this certificate.
One or more stillbirth certificates may also be bought at the time of registration for a fee of £4.
Step four: make an appointment
If you've read all of the guidelines, you’re now ready to make an appointment to come and see us at Bromley Public Hall, Bow Road, London E3 3AA.
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept walk ins, so please make an appointment by 0207 364 7883. You can check our opening hours here.
At your appointment the registrar will issue a certificate for burial or cremation on an official site. The certificate is normally passed to your funeral director. A funeral cannot take place until this certificate has been given to the burial authority or the crematorium. If there is a delay in the registration, it may be possible to obtain a certificate for the burial before registration has been completed, provided it does not need to be reported to the coroner. A certificate for cremation cannot be issued until registration is completed.