REGISTERING A STILL BIRTH
Losing a child is an extremely difficult time, so the thought of having to register a stillbirth is no doubt the farthest thing from a grieving parent’s mind. There are family members who can help and while you must register a stillbirth by law, you do have one year from the stillbirth date to complete the registration.
WHO CAN REGISTER A STILL BIRTH
The mother or father of the stillborn child (if they are a married couple) can register the stillbirth. If the parents are not married to each other, the name of the father may only be recorded if the father attends and signs the registration or if a declaration of paternity is produced.
The following people may also register the stillbirth:
- the grandmother, grandfather, uncle or aunt of the stillborn child
- any person present at the stillbirth
- any person having charge of the stillborn child
- the occupier of the premises where the stillbirth took place
HOW TO REGISTER
To register a stillbirth you will need to provide a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner (or registered midwife) that was present at the stillbirth or has examined the body of the stillborn child.
You will also need to provide the following information:
- full name and sex of the stillborn child
- date of the stillbirth
- district and place of stillbirth
- full names and dates of birth of the parents
- full addresses and occupations of the parents
You must register a stillbirth in person, but you can do it at any Registration Office in Northern Ireland. Once the registration is completed, the Registrar will issue a stillbirth certificate free of charge.
Castlereagh Registration Office operates an appointment system. To make an appointment please contact the Castlereagh Registration Office on 028 9244 7822.
You do not need an appointment to visit Lisburn Registration Office, though please note that a queuing system is in operation. Customers should arrive at least 45 minutes before the stipulated closing times. However Registration Staff deal with very sensitive issues and waiting times will vary. Please note Mondays and Fridays are extremely busy days and longer waiting times may apply. On occasions you may be asked to return. If your visit to the Lisburn Office is not urgent you may prefer to call on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
ORDER A STILL BIRTH CERTIFICATE
If you need to order a certified copy of a stillbirth certificate, the procedure differs slightly from other types of certificate. Only certain family members related to the stillborn baby can order the certificate. They are:
- mother or father (if named on the certificate)
- aunts or uncles
- brothers or sisters
Stillbirth certificates are ordered through the General Register Office, you won’t be able to order at a local registration office. You can pay by cash, cheque or postal order. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to The Registrar General.
If you are unsure of the date of the stillbirth, you can contact the General Register Office (GRONI) to ask for a search of the register to be carried out. The fee is £7.00 for each five year period or part of it. The results of the search will be sent to the applicant in a letter. A certificate can be issued when an additional £8.00 fee is paid.