Stillbirth - registering  Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council :
Cymraeg
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Stillbirth - registering 

Stillbirths


We understand that it can be very daunting to have to face registering a stillbirth. This page gives you step-by-step guidance on what is required and what is involved, but if you would rather speak to someone personally, please contact your local Register Office.

 
A stillbirth which takes place in England can only be registered in English but stillbirths in Wales may be registered bilingually in English and Welsh.


These pages explain what to do for a stillbirth which takes place in England and Wales – please visit the registration websites for Scotland and Northern Ireland for information on how to register a stillbirth in these countries.
 
F.A.Q.s

  • What is the definition of a stillbirth?
  • Why is registration necessary?
  • Who should register?
  • Where should I go?
  • What documents do I need?
  • What information will I be asked for?
  • Can you change the stillbirth record at a later date?
  • How do I obtain a stillbirth certificate?

What is the definition of a stillbirth?


A stillborn child is legally defined as a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy who did not show any signs of life at any time after being born.
 
Why is registration necessary?


Stillbirth registration gives parents the opportunity to have their child officially acknowledged and to give him or her names if they wish to.  Registration began on 1 July 1927 to help protect infant life and is an important source of historical and statistical information. 
 
Who should register?


It all depends if the parents were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth or conception. If they were, then either the mother or father can register.
If the parents weren't married, then who goes to the appointment will depend on a number of factors:

  • if the father's details are to be entered in the register, then both parents can go and sign the stillbirth register together;
  • if the father is unable to go to the Register office with the mother, but you still want his details included, then he can make a statutory declaration on form 16 (or form 16W for Welsh registrations) acknowledging his paternity which the mother must give to the registrar;
  • if the mother is unable to go to the Register office with the father, she may make a statutory declaration acknowledging the father's paternity on the same form(s) as above which the father must give to the registrar.

Although the majority of stillbirths are registered by parents, sometimes neither the mother nor the father are able to attend.  In this case, registration can be done by whichever of the following people is best able to do so:

  • the occupier of the house or hospital where the stillbirth took place
  • someone who was present at the stillbirth
  • someone who is responsible for the stillborn child
  • the person who found the stillborn child (where the date and place of the stillbirth are unknown). 
     

Where do I go?


Stillbirths should normally be registered within 42 days.  A stillbirth may not be registered more than 3 months after it happened.


The stillbirth can often be registered at the hospital before the mother leaves.  Alternatively, you can go to the register office in the district where the stillbirth occurred, or to another one if more convenient.  Things will take a bit longer through an office outside of the district where the stillbirth took place because the registrar will need to forward your information to the original district, who will then post the certificates to you.

Register office opening hours vary from one district to another and most operate an appointment system.

 
You will need to allow about half an hour to complete the registration process once you are with the registrar.
 
What documents do I need?


All you need to take is the medical certificate of stillbirth issued by the doctor or midwife present at the time of the birth.
 
What information will I be asked for?


The registrar will ask for the following details:


Child

  • date and place of stillbirth
  • the forename(s) and surname, if the parents wish to name the stillborn child
  • sex of the child

Father (where his information is to be entered in the register)

  • forename(s) and surname
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation at the time of the stillbirth or if not employed at that time, the last occupation

 
Mother

  • forename(s) and surname
  • maiden surname if the mother is, or has been, married
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation at the time of the stillbirth or if not employed at that time, the last occupation
  • usual address at the date of the stillbirth
  • date of marriage if married to the still-born child's father at the time of the stillbirth
  • number of previous children by the present husband and by any former husband

 
It is vital that all the information recorded in the stillbirth register is completely correct as mistakes can take quite a bit of time and trouble to put right.  This is why the person registering the stillbirth should check the information very carefully before signing the entry.
 
Can I change the stillbirth record at a later date?


Each entry in a stillbirth register is an historic record of the facts as they were at the time of the stillbirth.  If errors are discovered later, the law can allow for details to be changed or added.  Corrections should be arranged with the register office where the stillbirth was registered – but sometimes your paperwork must be sent to Corrections and Re-registration Section at the GRO in Southport.

 
Applications for corrections should be made by the person who gave the information for the registration or by the other parent.  He or she will be asked to provide documentary evidence to prove an error was made at the time of the registration.


There is no charge for authorising a correction – but if you would like to buy certificates of the corrected record the register office will advise you where to apply and how much they cost.


It is also possible to re-register a still-birth at a later date to include the natural father's details.  Please see the Home Office website for information on if the natural father's details be added to the birth record.
 
How do I obtain a stillbirth certificate?


Due to the sensitive nature of stillbirth registrations, the procedure for ordering a certificate of the entry differs from other types of certificates.  We will only send out the application form after we have been contacted by phone or in writing by the mother or father (if he is named on the certificate).  In cases where the parents are deceased, a brother or sister can apply if they can provide their parents’ dates of death.


The cost of the certificate is £7.


Certificates for stillbirths which are in our current registers can be obtained from the Merthyr Tydfil Register office, certificates not in the current registers can be obtained from the General Register Office. 

 

Please telephone the Merthyr Tydfil office on 01685 727333 for information on current registers.

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