Once your baby/babies are born, you have a legal responsibility to register them within 42 days (6 weeks) of their birth.
When to register a birth
You can register your child/ren as soon as they are born. You can only register a birth by personal interview with a Registrar, and only when you've decided the full forenames and surname of your child/ren. This is important as in many cases they can't be changed at a later date.
You can book an appointment online, or if you wish to speak with a member of the team please call 01642 729004.
Where to register a birth
A birth can only be registered in the registration district in which it took place. If your baby was born at James Cook University Hospital or at any other address located within the district of Middlesbrough, the birth must be registered at Middlesbrough Register Office. You may do this in person by making an appointment at the Register Office during normal opening hours.
If it's not convenient for you to attend 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 in the post. If you wish to obtain any other certificates in addition to the free one (see below), you'll need to enclose the appropriate payment (see the applying for a certificate document). Such arrangements will inevitably delay the arrangements you may wish to make with regards to passports, family allowances, etc. If you need any copies of birth certificates in the future, they will 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
The birth must be registered by:
- The mother and father can register the birth on their own or together if they were married to each other at the time of the birth
If the baby's parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth then the father will not be able to register the birth on his own. If the father wishes his details to be included in the register then he will have to attend with the mother at the time of registration. If the father is not able to attend at the time of registration, then the mother will not 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 is not married to the baby's father she is not normally obliged to include the father's details in the register. Including a father's details at registration gives him parental responsibility - for more information, please read the parental responsibility document.
- 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.
If English is not your first language and you would like someone to help you with the registration, please feel free to ask a relative or friend to accompany you to the Register Office. However, please remember that the birth cannot be registered by a friend on your behalf.
The following information should be supplied to the Registrar to register the birth.
- The date and place of your baby's birth. If the birth is a multiple one (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 the mother was 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).
It is important that the information recorded in the register is correct. If a mistake is made in the spelling of a name or surname, it may not be possible to make a correction. Please bear in mind that the Registrar makes every effort to ensure to get the information right the first time, so please be patient as a few extra minutes spent double-checking the registration details could prevent the need to spend a great deal of time making corrections later on.
You will be issued with a short birth certificate free of charge at the time of the registration. This only happens once so if you re-register at a later time you will not be given another free copy.
The short birth certificate is suitable for claiming Child Benefit and shows the baby's names and surname, sex, date of birth, and the registration district and sub-district. A full birth certificate is needed for applying for a passport and it shows all the above details plus the parents' details and the exact place of birth.
You may purchase as many certificates as you like at the time of registration for a fee of £4 per certificate. The day after the registration, the price of these certificates will increase to £7 until such time as the Register has been completed. Once the Register has been completed and deposited in the vault, the fee appropriate to deposited registers will apply.
If you chose to go to another register office and make a birth declaration, and wish to obtain any certificates in addition to the free one, you will need to send the appropriate payment in the form of a cheque made payable to 'Middlesbrough Council'. The certificates will then be forwarded on to you once the birth has been registered here.
If your child's birth has already been registered and you wish to apply for a birth certificate from Middlesbrough Register Office, you can make a birth certificate request online.