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By law, a still-born child is a child born after the 24th week of pregnancy who did not breathe or show any sign of life at any time after birth.
A child who breathed or showed other signs of life is considered live-born for registration purposes, no matter how far into the pregnancy they were born.
When a child is still-born, the doctor or midwife who was present at the birth or examined the body will issue a medical certificate of stillbirth. The person who registers the stillbirth must take this certificate to the registrar's office.
Every stillbirth in England or Wales must be registered in the district in which it takes place, normally within 42 days. A stillbirth may not be registered more than three months after it happened. Information is given to the registrar and recorded in the stillbirth register. The person registering the stillbirth signs the record.
Coventry Register Office operates an appointment system for registration.
If you cannot get to the district where the stillbirth took place, you can speak to another registrar. They will record the details on a form of declaration and send it to the registrar for the district where the stillbirth took place. Details will then be entered in the stillbirth register. Certificates of the stillbirth, which may be ordered and paid for at the time of making the declaration, as well as the document for the burial or cremation, will be posted by the registrar for the district where the stillbirth took place. If a declaration is made, it may take a day or two longer for the document for burial or cremation to be issued. The family should discuss the arrangements with their funeral director and the registrar to avoid any delay to the funeral.