Registering a stillbirth
Since January 1995, parents of a stillborn child in Ireland have been able to register their child's birth, even if he/she was born before that date.
If you wish to register the stillbirth, you should go and sign the Stillbirths Register at the office of the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths in any district. (Before the relevant provisions of the Civil Registration Act 2004 came into effect on 5 December 2005, a stillbirth could only be registered in the Registrar's District in which it took place.) You must provide written evidence of the stillbirth.
The registrar will give you a certificate of stillbirth at the time of signing. If you would like a certificate at a later date, you should contact the General Register Office.
All stillbirths occurring in Ireland since 1 January 1995 must be registered, if the baby weighs at least 500 grammes or has a gestational age of at least 24 weeks.
You (the parents) can choose to register the stillbirth yourselves, but if you are unable to do so, you may ask a relative of either parent to act as qualified informant to register it on your behalf. If a stillbirth is not registered within 12 months, the hospital, midwife or medical practitioner who attended the birth may be asked to register it.
If you do wish to register the stillbirth yourselves, the medical practitioner who attended the birth or examined the baby must give you a signed medical certificate stating the baby's weight and gestational age, and the name and address of the hospital or other institution where the stillbirth took place.
If you wish to register a stillbirth that happened before 1 January 1995, you can do so at any time. You will need specific evidence to prove that a stillbirth occurred. This evidence could be an authoritative written statement from your hospital, nursing home, medical practitioner or midwife, but the registrar may accept other forms of evidence.
Again, the stillbirth can only be registered if the baby weighed at least 500 grammes or had a gestational age of at least 24 weeks.
If your baby was stillborn in hospital, the hospital staff will usually help you to complete a Birth Notification Form (Form BNF/01). In the case of a home birth, the midwife or doctor will do this. The form outlines the information to be recorded in the Register of Stillbirths. This form will be forwarded to a registration office to inform the registrar that the stillbirth has occurred. The registration process will only be complete when the parent(s) or other qualified informant attends the registrar's office in person and signs the Stillbirths Register.
The following information is recorded in the Register of Stillbirths:
- Time, date and place of birth of the child
- The child's gender
- The child's weight and gestational age
- The child's Personal Public Service number (PPSN) (this will be allocated at registration)
- The child's forename(s) and surname
- The mother's forename(s) and surname
- The mother's birth surname
- Birth surname of the mother's mother
- All previously used surnames of the mother (if any)
- The mother's normal occupation
- The mother's normal address at the date of birth
- The mother's date of birth
- The mother's marital status
- The mother's Personal Public Service number (PPSN)
- Similar information is entered for the father.
A medical certificate of weight and gestational age is free of charge.
Since 4 July 2016, a stillbirth certificate is free of charge (was €20).
How to apply
Go to the office of the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths in any district and sign the Stillbirths Register. Bring written evidence of the stillbirth with you. View contact details of local registrars of births, marriages and deaths. A list of local registrars is also available from the General Register Office.
Where to apply