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Register a stillbirth

Register a stillbirth

Book an appointment, funeral arrangements and where to get advice and support.

We need to know about a baby that’s stillborn within 42 days of the birth. A baby is considered to be stillborn if they’re born after the 24th week of pregnancy, showing no signs of life after birth.

If your baby was born before 24 weeks showing no signs of life, the birth can’t be registered at the register office. However, your hospital might be able to give you a certificate of birth or you could ask them to fill in a certificate of birth from sands.org.uk.

Who can register a stillbirth

See who can register a stillbirth on GOV.UK.

Where to register

You should register the stillbirth at the local register office for the area where the baby was born. You can check which council covers the area where the baby was born on GOV.UK.

Baby born in Bristol

You can register a stillbirth in Bristol at either Bristol or Southmead Register Office. Call 0117 922 2800 to book an appointment.

Bristol Register Office
The Old Council House, Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1JG.
The entrance is on Broad Street.
Access guide on the AccessAble website.

Southmead Register Office
Southmead Hospital, Brunel Building, Bristol, BS10 5NB.
The office is on level 1 at gate 12.

If you can’t get to Bristol or Southmead Register Office
If you can’t register the stillbirth at either Bristol or Southmead Register Office, you can go to another register office in England or Wales and they’ll send the details to us. This is called making a declaration.

Find a register office on GOV.UK.

Baby born outside Bristol

In England or Wales
If the baby was born in England or Wales, but outside Bristol and you can’t get to the nearest register office to register the birth, you can book an appointment at one of our register offices. We’ll take all the details of the birth and pass them onto the right office. This is called ‘making a declaration’.

Call us on 0117 922 2800 to make an appointment.

Outside England or Wales
If the baby was born:

  • in Scotland, see register a stillbirth on mygov.scot
  • in Northern Ireland, see registering a stillbirth on nidirect.gov.uk
  • abroad, you must register the stillbirth according to the rules in the country where the baby was born, contact the local authority

What to bring to the appointment

You must bring the medical certificate of stillbirth to your appointment. Your GP, hospital doctor or bereavement office will normally give you this.

It helps us if you bring something to the appointment that shows your full name, such as:

  • your passport or driving licence
  • a bank statement
  • a gas, water or electric bill
  • your marriage or civil partnership certificate

What information we need to know

When registering the stillbirth, we’ll ask you for the:

  • baby’s place and date of stillbirth
  • baby’s names, if you want to name the child
  • baby’s sex
  • parents’ names and any previous names
  • parents’ addresses
  • parents’ places and dates of birth
  • parents’ jobs
  • date of parents’ marriage or civil partnership, if any

You don’t have to enter a name for your baby in the register but if you choose not to add a name at your appointment, you won’t be able to add it later.

What documents you’ll get

The registrar will keep the medical certificate of stillbirth and give you a:

  • certificate of registration
  • form that allows burial or cremation, which you can give to whoever is organising your baby’s funeral, such as the funeral director or hospital

There’s no charge to register a stillbirth unless you’d like a copy of the full entry in the register, which costs £11.

Once the stillbirth has been registered you can get copies of the certificate of registration or the entry in the register from the:

Correcting a mistake on a stillbirth certificate

When registering a stillbirth, you must check the register page carefully and tell the registrar about anything that’s incorrect.

If you notice a mistake after your appointment, we might not be able to correct it. If we can correct it, you’ll be charged a fee of £75 or £90 depending on what needs to be changed.

Arranging a funeral

By law, a stillborn baby must be buried or cremated.

You can start planning your baby’s funeral at any time, but you need to register the stillbirth before the funeral takes place.

Your local hospital can arrange a funeral for you. Your midwife can tell you more.

Information and support