Register a stillbirth

Coronavirus has impacted the way that we are providing registration services. Please read our latest update to find out more about these changes. 

Where and when a stillbirth can be registered

A stillbirth must be registered within 21 days.

It can be registered either in the registration district where it took place or at the registration office in the district of the mother's usual residence (only if the usual residence is in Scotland).

Who can register a stillbirth?

Married couples

Where the child's parents are married to each other, either the mother or father can register the stillbirth.

Unmarried couples

Where the parents are not married to each other, the mother should either:

  • register the stillbirth herself

  • be accompanied by the father where his name is to be recorded in the register.  (Please contact the registrar, who can offer further advice, should there be circumstances where both parents cannot attend together)

In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for another relative/person to register the stillbirth, but you should contact the registrar in advance for advice.

Documents to take when registering a stillbirth

  • the certificate of stillbirth issued by the medical attendant

  • the marriage certificate of the child's parents (if they are married to each other)

Do not worry if any of these documents are not available as the registrar can still proceed to register the stillbirth.

Name and surname for a stillborn child

Forename/s together with a surname may be entered in the register if desired.

Documents issued by the registrar once a stillbirth is registered

There is no charge to register a stillbirth or for any of the documents supplied by the registrar at the time of registration. The registrar will issue a certificate of registration of stillbirth for production to the person in charge of the burial ground or crematorium.

An extract of the entry in the register can be issued to the parent if required. No charge will be made for the extract if applied for within one month of registration.