Register a birth
The birth of a baby must be registered within 42 days of the date of birth and must be registered in the registration district where it occurred. In Swindon, this should be at Swindon Register Office.
If attending a particular register office is not convenient, then you can give the details at any register office in England or Wales and they will send the information to the register office of the district where the birth took place.
The Swindon Register Office currently operates an appointments system for all birth registration.
Who should register
- If the parents are married when the baby is born, either parent may register the birth.
- If the baby's parents are not married, and they want the father's details to be included in the register, both parents must attend the office together to register the birth. If this is not possible, please contact a registrar so that an alternative procedure can be explained to you.
- If the parents are not married, it is not necessary to have the father's details in the register. If his details are not entered at the time of registration, there are special procedures for them to be added later if required. There may be other options in some cases.
Parental responsibility for unmarried couples
- Unmarried fathers have equal parental responsibility if both parents register the birth of their baby together.This provides important legal rights and responsibilities. Without it, he does not have any right to be involved in decisions such as where they live, their education, religion or medical treatment.
- He is treated in law as the child's parent, and takes equal responsibility for bringing him or her up.
- A father who is not married to the baby's mother does not automatically have parental responsibility for him or her.
- It is also possible to gain parental responsibility by later marrying the child's mother, signing an official agreement with her, or getting a court order. This might be important for those with other children.
Information you will need to register a birth
- The date and place of birth (if the birth is one of twins, triplets, etc, then the times of all individual births will also be needed)
- The baby's forename(s), surname and sex
- The baby's parents' names, surnames and places of birth (if both parents are to be shown in the entry)
- The baby's parents' occupations
- The baby's mother's address
- The baby's mother's maiden name and if she has been married more than once, the name she was using to contract her last marriage
- The date of the baby's parents' marriage and number of previous children from this or any previous marriage
The documents you will receive
- You will receive a short certified copy of the entry in the register. This isn't the full certificate (which, for example, you will need to send with a passport application).
- Extra certified copies of short and full certificates can be supplied for a fee - please see the Buy a copy certificate webpage.