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How to register a birth

Once your baby/babies are born, you have a legal responsibility to register them within 42 days (6 weeks) of their birth.

Registering a birth

When to register a birth


You can register your child/children as soon as they're born.

Legally, you must register your child/children within 42 days (6 weeks) of their birth.

Where to register a birth


A formal record of the birth of a child or children must be made in the district where the birth/s took place.

Registration of a birth must be done in person, and only when you've decided the full forenames and surname of your child/children. This is important as in many cases they can't be changed at a later date.

In most cases, you'll register the birth at the Register Office in the district where the birth took place. If your baby was born at James Cook University Hospital or any other address located within the district of Middlesbrough, the formal record must be made with Middlesbrough Register Office.

You can book an appointment to register a birth at Middlesbrough Register Office via our online booking system or by calling 01642 729004.

Please Note: The Register Office lift is currently out of service and there are a number of steps to gain entry to the building.

You do not need to bring your baby to the appointment, but if you want to, it would be helpful if you could bring your baby in a car seat, rather than a pushchair.

If you are a wheelchair user please ring the Register Office on 01642 729004 to discuss.

If it's not convenient for you to visit Middlesbrough Register Office, you can register the birth of your child by 'declaration' at any other register office in England or Wales. The Registrar there will record the relevant information and act as an intermediary, passing the details to the Registrar in Middlesbrough by post.

In this case, any birth certificates you need will be sent to you by post. If you wish to obtain copy certificates, see the section ‘What happens after registering a birth’. Registering a birth by declaration and receiving certificates in the post will delay any arrangements you want to make regarding passports, family allowances, etc. If you need any copies of birth certificates in the future, they'll only be available from the office where the birth is registered (i.e. Middlesbrough) and not where the birth declaration was made.

Who can register a birth


If the mother and father were married to each other at the time of the birth, they can register the birth together, or either can register the birth alone. Registering the birth alone doesn't mean that only one parent's details will appear on the register.

If the baby's parents weren't married to each other at the time of the birth, the father won't be able to register the birth on his own. If the father wants his details to be included in the register then he'll have to attend with the mother at the time of registration. If the father isn't able to attend at the time of registration, the mother won't be able to include the father's details at that time. However, it may be possible to enter his details at a later date.

If the mother isn't married to the baby's father, she's not normally obliged to include the father's details in the register. Including a father's details at registration gives him parental responsibility. Read more about parental responsibility.

If you're part of a same-sex couple, the process of registering a birth may be different. Read more about registering a birth as part of a same-sex couple.

If English isn't your first language and you'd like someone to help you with the registration, you can ask a relative or friend to accompany you to the Register Office. However, the birth can't be registered by a friend on your behalf.

In certain circumstances another person may qualify to register the birth, but this is rare. If you think this may be the case, please contact the Register Office on 01642 729004 for advice.

How to register a birth


In order to register a birth, you will need to make an appointment at Middlesbrough Register Office. You can book an appointment via our online booking system or by calling 01642 729004.

The Registrar will need certain information about the child/children born, and their mother.

You'll need to provide:

  • the date and place of your baby's birth (if the birth is a multiple one (e.g. twins, triplets, etc.) then the time of each baby's birth will also be required)
  • the baby's gender
  • the baby's forenames and surname
  • the mother's forenames and surname (a maiden surname will also be required if the mother is, or ever has been, married)
  • the mother's date and place of birth (town and country if born in the UK; country if born overseas)
  • the mother's usual address at the time of birth
  • the mother's occupation (if the mother is no longer working but had been employed at any time before the birth this occupation can be entered in the register if the mother so wishes)
  • the total number of previous children
  • if you're married to the baby's father at the time of the birth, the registrar will need to know the date of that marriage.

If the father's details are to be entered in the register, the following information will be required:

  • the father's forename and surname
  • the father's date and place of birth (town and country if born in the UK; country if born overseas)
  • the father's occupation at the time of the baby's birth or, if he was not employed at that time, his last occupation
  • the father's address (if he is not married to the mother and not living at the same address).

When you attend your appointment, it is important to very carefully check the details that the registrar prepares for your baby’s birth entry as errors are sometimes difficult to correct. A fee may be applicable if an application to correct an entry is made at a later date. Please contact the Register Office for further information.

We advise making a payment of £11 per certificate before the appointment so the birth certificate can be issued at the appointment.

What happens after registering a birth


You can purchase as many birth certificates as you want when you register the birth. It costs £11 per certificate.

You'll need a birth certificate to claim Child Benefit, and apply for a passport for your child.

A short birth certificate shows the baby's names and surname, sex, date of birth, and the registration district and sub-district.

A full birth certificate shows everything on a short birth certificate, plus the parents' details and the exact place of birth.

If you registered the birth by declaration at another register office, and you need any certificates, you'll need to request a birth certificate online.

View the Register Office privacy notice to find out more about how we collect, store, and use your data.