Registering a birth or death

Register a stillbirth

If a stillbirth happens in Scotland it must be registered within 21 days. You can do this with any Registration office in Scotland. This appointment can be arranged “remotely” so you may not need to attend the office in person.

Who can register

Where the child's parents are married to each other or in a registered civil partnership, either the mother or father can register the stillbirth.

Where the parents are not married to each other or in a registered civil partnership, the mother should either:

  • Register the stillbirth on her own (no father's name will be recorded)
  • Register the stillbirth along with the father and his name will be recorded in the register

There may be circumstances where both parents cannot attend together and we can advise on this. There are declarations forms we provide to allow both parents' names to be recorded. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible for another relative or person to register the stillbirth, but you should contact us in advance for advice.

A court can also declare that a parent's name is added to the record.

Documents to take to the registrar

  • The parents' marriage or registered civil partnership certificate if applicable. Do note that the registration can still proceed if this is unavailable

Documents the registrar will give you

  • A certificate of registration of stillbirth to be given to the person in charge of the burial ground or crematorium
  • If one of the parents registers the stillbirth and requests it, an extract of the entry in the register. This is free of charge