The registration of stillborn children has taken place in Ireland since 1 January 1995, and it is possible to register a stillbirth whether the child was born prior to, or since, that date.
A Birth Notification Form (Form BNF/01) will usually be completed with the parent(s) by hospital staff (in the case of hospital births) or by a doctor or midwife (in domiciliary births). This form outlines the information to be recorded in the Register of Stillbirths and will be completed with one, or both parents to ensure that correct and accurate information is registered. This form will be forwarded to a registration office to inform the Registrar that the stillbirth has occurred.
The completion of a Birth Notification Form is NOT sufficient to register a stillbirth and the parent(s) or other qualified informant must attend the registrar's office in person to complete the registration process.
A qualified informant will be the parent(s), or if one parent is dead, the surviving parent or if both parents are deceased, any relative of the stillborn child. If the stillbirth is not registered by a qualified informant within 12 months of the birth, the authority in whose functional area the stillbirth occurred may request the hospital to act as informant and have the birth registered. Where no hospital is involved, the medical practitioner who attended the birth or examined the child or a midwife who attended the birth may be requested to act as informant to allow the stillbirth to be registered. In the case of stillbirths that occurred prior to 31 December 1994 a parent or any relative may act as qualified informant and register the stillbirth.
All stillbirths occurring in Ireland since 1 January 1995 may be registered. It only applies in relation to a child born weighing not less than 500 grammes or having a gestational age of not less than 24 weeks and who shows no sign of life at birth.
Where a stillbirth occurred prior to I January 1995 specific evidence must be produced at the point of registration to prove to the Registrar that a stillbirth has occurred. This evidence could comprise an authorative statement in writing from a hospital, a nursing home or midwife stating the date and place of birth, the weight and/or the gestational age of the stillborn child. The Registrar may accept, subject to the approval from the Superintendent Registrar, other forms of evidence.
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 period
- The child's forename(s) and surname
- The mother's forename(s) and surname (as known as of date of birth of child)
- The mother's birth surname
- Birth surname of 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 father
- A medical certificate of weight and gestational age is free of charge
- There is no fee for a stillbirth certificate
How to apply
Go to the office of the Register of Births, marriages and deaths in any district and sign the stillbirths register. Bring written evidence of the stillbirth with you. You may request a copy of the stillbirth certificate at the time of registration only. View contact details of local registrars of births, marriages and deaths. www.hse.ie
All subsequent copies must be obtained from:
General Register Office
Tel: +35390 6632900
Locall: 1890 252076
Fax:+353 90 6632999
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