Babies who were born alive at any stage of pregnancy and then died, and babies who were born after 24 weeks of pregnancy and showed no signs of life, must by law be registered by the registrar of births and deaths.

The hospital staff looking after you will explain what you need to do.  

For more detailed information about registration please read or download Saying goodbye to your baby. A printed copy of Saying goodbye to your baby can be ordered from our shop.

If your baby was born dead before 24 completed weeks of pregnancy your baby’s birth cannot be registered at a register office. However, many hospitals will give you a certificate of birth before the 24th week of pregnancy as a keepsake to commemorate you baby.

If your hospital doesn’t do this, you could provide a certificate yourself and ask them to sign it. Alternatively you can download our blank certificate or call/email our Helpline team (020 7436 5881) and ask them to send you a certificate by post. We have five versions depending on your family's needs:

Download a Certificate of birth before the 24th week of pregnancy.

If you want to arrange your baby’s funeral yourself, you need a form from the hospital to give to the funeral director. This confirms that your baby was born before the "age of viability" (that is, before 24 completed weeks) and showed no signs of life.