Register a birth
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, 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 the child
- It is also possible to gain parental responsibility by later marrying the child's mother. The father will need to sign an official agreement with the mother, or get 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 a multiple birth, 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. 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
- The number of previous children from this or any previous marriage
The documents you will receive
- You can purchase a full birth certificate which will be supplied at your appointment. There is a fee for this and any additional copies you may require. You can discuss with the Registrar how many copies you wish to have and make payment at your appointment.
- You will be given the certificate(s) to take away with you
Make an appointment
You can make an appointment to register a birth online.
The appointment needs to be made in the mother's surname. You will need to provide the date of birth of your baby. You will be able to discuss the full name to be given to the baby at your appointment.
You should come to the Register Office a few minutes before your appointment and wait outside. The Registrar will telephone you at your appointment time to take the registration details. Straight after that, they will invite you into the Register Office to check and sign the register page.
If possible, please do not bring children to the appointment.