Register a Birth

Register a birth

You can register your child/ren as soon as they are born.

You have a legal responsibility to register your child/ren within 42 days (6 weeks) of their birth.

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

In most cases, you'll register the birth at the Register Office in the district where the birth 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/ren. This is important as in many cases they can't be changed at a later date.

You can book an appointment online to register a birth at Middlesbrough Register Office. If you need help, you can speak to a member of the team by calling 01642 729004.

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 any other certificates in addition to the free one (see the 'What happens after registering a birth' section), you'll need to enclose the appropriate payment (found in the applying for a certificate document). Registering a birth by declaration and receiving certificates in the post will delay any arrangements you may wish to make regarding 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.

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 (for more information, please read the parental responsibility document).

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.

In order to register a birth, the Registrar will need certain information about the child/ren 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 (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).

It's important that the information recorded in the register is correct. If a mistake is made in the spelling of a name, it may not be possible to have it corrected. The Registrar makes every effort to get the information right first time, so please be patient - 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.

After registering the birth, you'll be issued with a short birth certificate free of charge. This only happens once so if you re-register at a later time you won't 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 can buy as many certificates as you like at the time of registration for a fee of £4 per certificate. The day after registration, the price of certificates will increase to £7, and will stay at this price until the time when the Register for Middlesbrough is full. Once the Register is full and has been deposited in the vault, the fee appropriate to deposited registers will apply.

If you registered the birth by declaration at another register office, and you need any certificates in addition to the free one, you'll need to send the appropriate payment amount as a cheque (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.