All births in England and Wales must be registered within 42 days of the child or children being born. 

Where to register the birth

Births should be registered at the register office in the district where the baby was born. For example, if your child was born in Medway, you should register the birth at Medway Register Office. 

If you cannot register in the district where the baby was born

You'll need to make a declaration of birth.

To do this, you'll need to visit another register office and make a declaration of birth.

That register office will produce a declaration which is signed and posted to the register office where the birth did take place.

The register office in the district where the baby was born will then register the birth. Birth certificates can then be made and ordered from that district. 

Births outside the UK 

The birth must be registered in the country the child or children were born in.

You do not need to register the birth in the UK as well, but you can if you wish.

Find out more about applying to register an overseas birth.

Who can register or declare a birth

A birth mother can register a birth by themselves.

If the birth mother is married or in a civil partnership, one parent can register or the parents can register together.

If the parents are not married, they can register the birth together.

If they cannot go together, the parent who cannot go must complete a declaration of acknowledgement of parentage form and give it to the parent who is making the registration.

Female couples who used fertility treatment

If the couple were married at the time of treatment, either parent can register the birth. If they were not married at this time, the birth mother must go to the registration appointment. 

Parental responsibility

You can also register a birth if you have parental responsibility.

Find out more about parental responsibility for surrogacy and adoption.

If you need support with parental responsibility, contact:

Request an appointment to register or declare a birth online