Information from us
Things that need to be done
We know that this is a tough time for everyone concerned following the stillbirth of your baby, but there are certain things that need to be done from a legal perspective.
One such important task is to register your stillborn baby. This must be completed within a certain timeframe which is detailed below.
Having had to do this personally, we have some practical advice for you:-
•If you are thinking of doing this alone, don’t. Please take someone with you for support or do it together as a couple
•Make sure you have all the right documents from the hospital
•When arranging a time to visit, explain the situation and request that the appointment is at a time when there are no other babies/children present
•The registrars are trained to deal with these difficult circumstances and should be empathetic to your situation
•If you do not feel that this has been the case then you should let us know
We hope that the following advice will help you through the process of registration.
Registering your stillborn baby
It may seem inappropriate to have to think of paperwork at a time like this but registering your baby if he or she is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy is a legal requirement.
Why is registration important?
If you are able to think of the registration process as simply a way of confirming officially that you are your baby's parent, then it may make the task easier. By registering your baby, his/her existence is officially acknowledged and set in writing for records to show in years to come.
When a baby is stillborn the doctor or midwife who was at the birth or examined the body will issue a Medical Certificate of Stillbirth. This certificate has to be taken to the nearest office of the Registrar for Births, Marriages and Deaths within 42 days (21 days in Scotland and five days in Northern Ireland). A stillbirth cannot be registered more than three months after it happened. Once you've registered the stillbirth you will be given a certificate for burial or cremation.
Your local registrar
You can find your local registrar's office by searching for it on your local county council's website. Most registrars work on an appointment basis. Although the system will one day be improved so that registration can be done both online and by telephone, this addition has yet to be adopted.
Please visit www.sands.org.uk/support/bereavement-support for more information.