Registration of stillborn babies

Stillbirths in England and Wales must be registered within 42 days of the stillbirth. To register, please contact us to arrange an appointment with a registrar at one of Surrey's register offices.

Where a baby is stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, a Medical Certificate of Stillbirth signed by the midwife or doctor, will be sent to the registrar. If no doctor or midwife was present and no doctor or midwife has examined the body, you must sign Form 35 which the registrar will give you.

If your pregnancy ends before 24 weeks, you can get a free certificate in memory of your baby. You do not need to request a certificate if you prefer not to. It's optional. This certificate is not a legal document - for example you cannot use it to claim benefits. Further information can be found on The Baby Loss Certificate service website.

Who needs to register?

  • If the parents are married to each other or in a civil partnership together, either parent can register.
  • If the parents are not married to each other, the father must attend the appointment with the mother if his details are to be included on the registration; if the mother attends alone, no father's details will be recorded.
  • If two female parents are not in a marriage or civil partnership together, both must attend the appointment and meet the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act if the second female details are to be included on the registration; if the mother attends alone, no second female parent details will be recorded.

The registrar will need to know:

  • Date and place of the stillbirth
  • The forenames and surname, if the parents wish to name the child
  • Sex of the child
  • Parents' names, surnames and address (including any former names)
  • Places and dates of parents' birth
  • Date of parents' marriage or civil partnership (if applicable)
  • Parents' occupations
  • Mother's maiden surname

What you need to bring:

You should bring the Medical Certificate of Stillbirth given to you by the hospital or midwife.

It would also be useful for you to bring:

  • Your passport or birth certificate
  • Proof of your current address
  • Proof of any former name or names (for example, change of name deed or marriage certificate)

Please note that you are not legally required to produce these documents but if you do they can help to ensure the registration is completed accurately.

The registrar who registers the stillbirth will provide you with:

  • A Certificate for Burial or Cremation. This will be emailed direct to the funeral directors so that the funeral can be held
  • A Certificate of Registration of Stillbirth
  • It is also possible to get certified copies of the entry

You can contact us if you have questions about registering a stillborn child.

Funeral of a stillborn baby

The health authority may offer to arrange a burial or cremation, free of charge, for every stillborn baby, whether born in hospital or at home. You should discuss the funeral arrangements with the hospital staff. If you accept the offer, the baby will be cremated or buried after a simple ceremony. The parents can, if they wish, arrange the funeral themselves, if, for instance, the hospital cannot arrange the funeral to meet with the parents' religious beliefs.

Maternity Benefits

You may still be entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance.

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