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How to register a birth

When do I need to register a birth?

You can register a birth at any time after the birth up to 42 days.

Where can I register a birth?

A birth must be registered in the area in which the birth took place.

Births in Staffordshire

You can register the birth at any registration office throughout the county. The registrar will take the details of the birth. They enter them into the register which is then signed by the person registering the birth.

We will issue a short version of the birth certificate. This contains details about the baby's name, sex, date of birth and registration district. We will issue Form FP58 which enables you to register your child with a doctor. You can buy further copies of the birth certificate (both short and long versions).

Births outside Staffordshire

You can give the information needed to register the birth to a registrar in another district if it is inconvenient to register the birth in the area where it took place.

The registrar will record the details into the register. They will issue a short version of the birth certificate and will post it to you. They will not issue any documents at the initial declaration.

Births in Stoke on Trent

If your baby was born in the Stoke-on-Trent Registration district, for example if your baby was born at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, you can make a declaration at any register office in the county. They will take the details in the form of a declaration and send these to Stoke-on-Trent Registration Services, who will then post your purchased birth certificates to you.

How do I make an appointment?

You can book an appointment online to register a birth. Alternatively, you can contact us using the details below.

Contact us

Email: registrarsenquiries@staffordshire.gov.uk
Tel: 0300 111 8001
Fax: 01785 276026
Mini Com: 01785 276207

The Minicom service is a telephone typewriter device for communication between deaf, hard of hearing, speech-impaired and/or hearing persons.

Local Registration Offices addresses are available on Registration Office pages.

Who can register a birth?

Married parents

If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the birth (or conception) then either the mother or father may register the birth.

Unmarried parents

If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the child's birth (or conception) then the father's details may be entered into the birth register in the following circumstances:

  • If the mother and father go to the register office and sign the birth register together.
  • Where the father is unable to go to the register office with the mother, it is possible for him to make a statutory declaration. This acknowledges his paternity. The mother must produce this to the registrar. The forms to do this are available from any register office. Statutory declarations need to be witnessed by a Solicitor for which a fee will usually be charged.
  • Where the mother is unable to go to the register office with the father she can make a statutory declaration acknowledging his paternity. The father must produce this to the registrar. The forms to do this are available from any register office.
  • Where the mother or father has made a parental responsibility agreement or either one has obtained the appropriate court order, either parent can produce the agreement to the registrar.
  • Unmarried couples should note that wherever there is joint registration, the named father will automatically be granted full parental rights over the child until he or she reaches 18 years of age.

If the father's details are not recorded in the birth register it may be possible to re-register the birth at a later date to include his details.

What information do I need to provide?

When registering the birth of a baby the registrar will ask you for specific pieces of information which will be entered into the birth registration record. The information required for each individual is as follows:

Child

  • The date and place of birth (if the registration is for twins, triplets etc. then the time of each child's birth will also be needed)
  • The sex of the child
  • The forename/s and surname in which it is intended that the child will be brought up

Mother

  • Her forename/s and surname
  • Her maiden name (if she is or has previously been married)
  • Her date and place of birth
  • Her occupation at the time of the child's birth. If the mother is not employed at the time of the birth then details of her last occupation will/can be recorded
  • The date of her marriage (if she is married to the father at the time of the birth)
  • The number of previous children that she has by her present husband or by any former husband.

Father

  • His forename/s and surname
  • His date and place of birth
  • His occupation at the time of the child's birth. If the father is not employed at the time of the birth then details of his last occupation will/can be recorded.

How do I re-register a birth?

There are two main situations in which the child's parents may request the birth to be re-registered:

To show that the parents are now married

If the natural parents have married each other since the birth was registered, the birth should be re-registered to accurately record the current legal status of the child.

You can get a form from Registration Services which both parents need to sign. Either parent can go to the register office with the completed form and a copy of the marriage certificate. The birth can then be re-registered and the child's surname changed as part of this process. You can buy copies of the re-registered birth certificate from the registrar.

Adding the father's details to the birth record

If the child's natural parents were not married at the time of the birth and the father did not attend with the mother to register the birth of the baby, the birth record can be amended at any time to include the father's details and to change the surname of the child. You can get the form you need from Registration Services.

The easiest way for a birth to be re-registered is for both parents to attend at a register office together. It is possible for either parent to make a statutory declaration before a solicitor or other person able to legally witness an oath to acknowledge parentage of the child. It is also possible for either parent to get a court order naming the father. In any of these situations, the birth will be registered again. You can buy copies of the re-registered certificate from the registrar.

If the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth and it was decided to give the child the father's name (whether he attended the initial registration with the mother or not) it is not always possible to change the child's surname back to that of the mother. The only alternative would be to speak to a solicitor to make a statutory declaration or deed poll changing the name of the child. This would not change the entry on the original birth register.

The statutory declaration or deed poll should be attached to the birth certificate to show that the child has been brought up with a surname different to that shown on the original birth record.

I can't register my baby, can someone else do this for me?

In most cases the parents register the birth of a baby. Sometimes in exceptional circumstances neither the mother nor father is able to do this. In this case, the registrar will arrange for the registration to be made by whichever of the following people is best able to do so:

  • The occupier of the house or hospital where the child was born
  • A person who was present at the birth
  • A person who is responsible for the child

How do I register a birth conceived through fertility treatment?

The woman who gives birth to the child (including surrogate mothers) will be shown as the child's mother in the birth register. The person who is to be regarded as the father/second parent of the child will generally speaking be the husband/wife who undertook the fertility treatment with the mother.

Where the husband of a woman who has received fertility treatment is not the genetic father he will still be regarded as the father if he was married to the mother at the time of the treatment unless it is shown that he did not consent to the treatment or he was judicially separated from the mother.

Same sex marriages or civil partnerships

Where the woman who received fertility treatment was married to her female partner or in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment, the partner will be regarded as the second parent unless it is shown that she did not consent to the treatment or a separation order was in force. The presumption of legitimacy as mentioned above does not apply to same sex marriages or civil partnerships.

This means that where the mother was married to her female partner or in a civil partnership at the time of the child’s birth or registration, it will not be presumed that the spouse is the child’s second parent, this will only apply if the mother was married or in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment.

Surrogacy

In the case of a surrogacy arrangement, the couple who arranged for the surrogate mother to carry the child for them can apply to the court for a parental order that will enable the birth to be re-registered to show them as the parents of the child.

How do I register a birth when the father has died before the child is conceived?

Where a child is conceived as a result of fertility treatment after the death of a man receiving treatment with the mother, the man can be registered as the child's father on production of the following documentary evidence:

  • His written consent to the fertility treatment and to being named as the child's father in the birth register (not required where the man died before 18th September 2003)
  • Written confirmation from the clinic that the man's consent had not been withdrawn (not required where the father died before 18th September 2003)
  • The woman's written request for the man to be named as the father in the birth register
  • Written confirmation of the fertility treatment from a medical source, for example the fertility clinic, the mother's own doctor or hospital doctor
  • The original copy of the man's death certificate
  • A marriage certificate (if applicable)

Recording the man as the child's father in any of these circumstances does not mean that he will be treated in law as the child's father other than for registration purposes.

Nor does it give the child any legal status or rights, for example concerning inheritance or nationality.

How do I change the first name of a child?

It is sometimes possible to change the first name (or names) of your child. If you decide to change the name within 12 months of the date of registration then you are able to make the changes to the original birth registration.

Note: there is no charge for re-registering a baby's birth.

Following a Christian baptism

If the child has been baptised into the Christian faith within 12 months of the registration then you can get a form from Registration Services. You need the minister of the church which baptised the child to complete this. Once they have completed the form you need to return it to Registration Services.

We can insert the amended names into space 17 on the original birth register. This can be done at any time afterwards as long as the baptism took place within 12 months of the original birth registration. You can buy amended copies of the birth record from the registrar.

The full version of the birth certificate will show both the original name and the new name. the short version of the certificate will only show the new name.

Certificate of Naming

If your child is not baptised you can complete a Certificate of Naming form at any registration office. This can take place at any time after the initial birth registration. You must prove that the name change took place within 12 months of the initial registration. You need to provide evidence in the form of a clinic card, NHS medical card or a bank book.

We can insert the amended names into space 17 on the original birth register. You can buy amended copies of the birth record from the registrar.

The full version of the birth certificate will show both the original name and the new name. the short version of the certificate will only show the new name.

What are parental responsibilities?

The law changed on 1 December 2003. This was to make it easier for unmarried fathers to get equal parental responsibility.

Married parents

The child's mother (and father if they are married) automatically have parental responsibility.

Unmarried parents

Fathers get parental responsibility if they attend the registration with the mother. Here he will have his name recorded in the child's record.

A father can get parental responsibility by later marrying the child's mother. Also by making a parental responsibility agreement with her or by getting a court order.

 

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