In between bulk buying nappies, negotiating names and mentally preparing yourself for your new bundle of joy’s arrival, you’ll want spare a few moments for the the legal stuff that will come after your baby is born.
Once your child has been born, no small feat in itself, you’ll need to register your child’s birth and get their birth certificate. So, how do you do this? And when?
You must register your child’s birth within 42 days
If your child is born in the UK then you need to officially register their birth with the government within 42 days (that’s 6 weeks). There are different rules in other countries but its best to do this as soon as you can.
With over a month to do this, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and get to know with your little one before getting into the nitty gritty legalities.
In order to register your child’s birth you’ll need to visit your local register office. You will be able to find this easily through your county’s website.
Some hospitals have register offices and this is something you can check in advance with them.
What information do you need to register the birth?
You’ll need some obvious but key information to get your baby registered. You won’t necessarily need to give all of this information but its best to be safe and have it all to hand:
- place and date of the birth
- name, surname and sex of your baby
- mother and father’s full names and address
- places and dates of parents’ birth
- date of parents’ marriage or civil partnership
- parents’ jobs
- mother’s maiden surname; if different.
You will also need a form of ID, such as a bill with your name on it or passport, to prove who you are.
The whole process won’t take very long and you only have to do it once. Once you’ve registered your child’s birth you’ll get their very first birth certificate - for free.
Who can register the birth?
You and your partner don’t both need to be there to register the birth if you are married. All you’ll need to do is get the parent who won’t be there to complete a statutory declaration form to be included when registering. This includes their side of the information needed and makes sure they get on the birth certificate too.
If your child is born abroad then you should register the birth and obtain a birth certificate in that country
Should your child be born while you are abroad, however unlikely that may be, you’ll need to register the birth with the local government there. The birth certificate you’ll receive there can then be used in the UK - such as when applying for your child’s first passport.
What if I lose their birth certificate?
Your child will one day need their birth certificate for a number of possible reasons. You’ll need it to order them their first british passport, as well as register them for school - as far off as that may seem - even to get married, in the much more distant future.
So, what happens if you lose their birth certificate or it gets destroyed by accident?
Legal certificate specialists Simply Certificate say that “you can easily get a replacement birth certificate once it is registered with the government. However, you won’t be able to order your copy till the September after you registered the birth.”
You’re unlikely to need a birth certificate in such a short space of time and equally unlikely to lose it; fingers crossed, so all being well you’ll be able to get on loving, learning and just being with your new bundle of joy.