Registering a birth
When must a birth be registered?
Within six weeks of the baby’s birth (42 days). The National Health Service informs registrars of births that have taken place in their area.
Where can a birth be registered?
You can register your baby's birth with the register office in the district where the birth occurred, or you can go to any register office in England and Wales and make a declaration of the information required.
Gwent partnership working arrangement
New arrangements have been made for all births within the Gwent or Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area.
If your baby was born in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport or Torfaen council areas, you can register the birth in any of the register offices in those council areas.
Please contact your local office to make arrangements:
If you are unable to go to one of these offices, you can visit any other register office in England or Wales, and they will forward the details onto us.
If your baby was born outside one of these council areas, you can attend any of these offices and the registrar will send the details to the district where the baby was born
How long does it take to register a birth?
- Approximately 30 minutes.
How much does it cost to register a birth?
- There is no charge to register a baby’s birth.
- Birth Certificates are £11 each at the time of registration.
Who can register a birth?
- Either the mother or father can register the birth if they were married when the baby was born or conceived.
- If the parents are not married and they want both of their details to be included on the birth certificate, they need to sign the birth register together. If this is not possible then:
- one parent must complete a statutory declaration of parentage form (available from any Register Office which the other will need to take when registering the birth
- one parent must take evidence that a parental responsibility agreement has been made or must be able to produce a court order to give to the registrar.
- The father’s details can normally be included at a later date, if you get married or choose to add them (see re-registration section below)
- In exceptional circumstance where the parents are unable to register the birth then the registration will be completed 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
Same sex parents
- Male couples must get a parental order from the court before they can be registered as parents
- Female couples can include both their names on their child’s birth certificate when registering the birth – the rules are different depending on if they’re in a civil partnership or not
Female civil partners
- Either woman can register the birth on her own if all of the following are true:
- the mother has a child by donor insemination or fertility treatment
- she was in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment
- her civil partner is the child’s legal parent
Female non-civil partners
- When a mother isn’t in a civil partnership, her partner can be seen as the child’s second parent if both women:
- are treated together in the UK by a licensed clinic
- have made a ‘parenthood agreement’
- However, for both parents’ details to be recorded on the birth certificate, they must do one of the following:
- register the birth jointly
- complete a ‘Statutory declaration of acknowledgement of parentage’ form and one parent takes the signed form when she registers the birth
- get a document from the court (for example, a court order) giving the second female parent parental responsibility and one parent shows the document when she registers the birth.
What documents will I need to bring when I register a baby?
To help us to make sure we accurately record details on a Birth record, you should bring some of the following documents with you to the appointment to confirm the details of the parents:
- Birth certificate
- Driving licence
- Proof of address (such as a council tax bill)
- If you are a married or have entered into a civil partnership, a couple a copy of your marriage / Civil Partnership certificate
Can I re-register a child’s birth at a later date?
There are various circumstances in which a birth may need to be re-registered. For example:
- Following the natural parents' marriage to show the child as a child of marriage. This type of re-registration is a legal requirement.
- To add the natural father's details where the existing record does not show any father and the child's natural parents have not married each other since the date of the child's birth.
- Following the marriage or civil partnership of two female parents to show the child as a child of marriage or civil partnership.
If you wish to change the child's surname, it can be changed to the same as the mother, the natural father or any combination of the two as long as both parents agree to the change. Where the child is 16 years or over, their written consent will be required. You cannot change a child's forenames at re-registration.
There is no charge for the re-registration of a birth. However, new birth certificates can be purchased on the day of re-registration for a cost of £11 for each certificate
Corrections to a completed Birth entry
When completing a registration, you must check the register page carefully. In signing the completed entry, you are stating that everything is accurate and a true statement.
If you fail to notice an error when checking and signing the registration (birth death, marriage, civil partnership) the fee to apply for a correction will be £75 or £90 (depending on the type of correction required)
Please note: This fee does not guarantee the correction can be made.
Last Modified: 23/03/2022
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