Register a stillbirth

It is a legal requirement for a stillbirth in Scotland to be registered within 21 days of the event.

Who can register a stillbirth

If they are married or in a civil partnership, either parent can register the stillbirth.

If the parents are not married or in a civil partnership, the child's mother must register the stillbirth. 

The father, or second female parent, must be present if they want their name on the record.

In certain situations, the stillbirth may be registered by another person if the parents are unable to register.  Contact us to discuss this with the registrar:

How to register a stillbirth

Call 030 33 33 3004 to make an appointment to register a birth. The appointment can be:

  • by telephone
  • in person

What you need at your appointment

You'll need a few things for your appointment with the registrar: 

  • a certificate, or signed declaration, of stillbirth from a doctor or midwife
  • the full names of any parent to be included on the record
  • the birth dates of any parent to be included on the record
  • the parents' marriage or civil partnership certificate, if they have one


We'll issue a certificate of registration. You'll need to give this to the person in charge of the burial or cremation.

You can also ask for a stillbirth certificate.

Bereavement support

We understand that a stillbirth can be an emotionally traumatic time for both parents and other family members.

During your appointment, we can advise you about bereavement services available locally. You might also have a follow-up appointment with your doctor a few weeks after the stillbirth to check your health and discuss the post-mortem and any test results carried out.

Other available support and advice

These include: