To make an appointment to register a birth please contact one of our registration offices.
The registration will take about 15 to 20 minutes, and must be completed within 42 days of the birth.
Who can register a birth?
If the mother and father were married to each other at the time of the child's birth, either parent may register.
If the mother and father are not married to each other at the time of the child’s birth, the mother alone may register the birth.
The father's details can only be entered in the register if he is also present at the time of registration. If the mother registers alone, it is possible to add the father’s particulars by re-registration at any future time, should they both agree.
Unmarried couples - the right to be responsible for your child
Unmarried fathers are able to obtain equal parental responsibility. All you have to do is for both parents to register the birth of your baby together.
Parental responsibility for your child gives you important legal rights as well as responsibilities. Without it, you don’t have any right to be involved in decisions such as where they live, their education, religion or medical treatment. With parental responsibility, you are treated in law as the child’s parent, and you take equal responsibility for bringing them up.
Unlike mothers and married fathers, if you are not married to your baby’s mother you do not automatically have parental responsibility for them.
Help to decide what to do
Parentline Plus has a free helpline where you can talk through the options and ask for advice. Call them on Parentline Plus tel: 0808 800 2222 or textphone: 0800 783 6783.
What you need to register a birth
The baby's parents must provide the registrar with the following information:
- the baby's date and place of birth, forename(s) and surname
- the mother's full name, date and place of birth, current or last occupation and, if applicable, maiden surname and date of marriage
- if the father's details are to be entered in the register, the registrar will need the same details as are required from the mother
There are 2 types of birth certificate available to purchase at the time of the registration appointment or at a later date:
- a short birth certificate - this shows only the date of birth and baby's name
- a full birth certificate - this shows the baby's name, date of birth, place of birth together with parental information
The full birth certificate is usually required for official purposes such as obtaining a passport for your child.