Still Births

How and where to register a stillbirth

How and where do I register a still birth?

Any stillbirth that takes place in Scotland should be registered within 21 days by the Registrar. This can be done at any Registration Office in Scotland.
Contact your local Registrar for further information and to make an appointment. Appointments are Monday to Friday 9:30am to 11:30am and 1:45pm to 3:45pm.

Who can register a Stillbirth in Scotland?

A child's father or mother has a duty to register the stillbirth. In the case of the death or inability of the father or mother the following persons can register the stillbirth:

  • Any relative of the mother or father, who has knowledge of the stillbirth;
  • The occupier of the premises in which the stillbirth, to the knowledge of that occupier, took place;
  • Any person present at the stillbirth;

A father who is not married to the mother can only register the stillbirth and be named in the register as the father if:

  • He jointly signs the register with the mother;
  • He and the mother sign declarations (these are available from the registrar) that he is the father; or
  • A court declares that he is the father and the mother registers the stillbirth.

What documents should I take to the Registrar?

  • The certificate of stillbirth issued by the doctor;
  • The marriage certificate of the child's parents if available.

If no certificate of stillbirth is produced the registration may proceed after the informant has signed a form of declaration.
When the registration is complete the registrar will give you, free of charge:

  • A stillbirth registration certificate for production to the person in charge of the burial ground or crematorium;
  • If one of the parents registers the stillbirth and requests it, an extract of the entry in the register.

What if the stillbirth occurs abroad?

You should register the stillbirth according to local regulations in the country concerned and obtain a certificate of the stillbirth. There is no facility available to register the stillbirth with the British Consul in that country.

How do I obtain an extract from an entry in the Register of Still-Births?

Extracts of still-birth records from 1939 onwards are available from National Records of Scotland for a fee. Due to the sensitive nature of still-birth registrations, these extracts are usually only issued to the parents of the still-born child.  However, siblings of still-born children may apply, either with the express consent of a parent, or on their own behalf, where they can demonstrate that their parents are no longer alive. 

Where no name was recorded for the still-born child at the time of registration, a name can be added at the request of the parents. It is not possible for siblings to request names to be added.

Application forms can be obtained from

General Registration Unit
National Records of Scotland
New Register House
3 West Register Street

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