Registering a birth

Information about who can register a birth, what we'll need from you, and what to do once your baby has been registered.

How do I register my baby?

You must register your baby’s birth within 42 days of the date of birth.

If your baby was born within the Doncaster district the Birth needs to be registered at Doncaster Register Office, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU. We are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm. We operate an appointment system for the registration of Births. Please contact us on 01302 735222 to make the appointment.

If English is not your first language and you would like someone to help with the registration, a relative or friend can accompany you to the office when you attend.

If you are unable to get to our office, you can make a 'declaration' at another registrar's. We will send any documents, including birth certificates, to you by post.

What we will need from you

When you register, you will need to tell us:

  • your baby's date and place of birth. If the birth is one of twins, triplets and so on, then the time of each birth will also be required
  • whether the baby is a boy or girl
  • the baby's full name

For the father (where these details are to be entered in the register):

  • full name
  • date and place of birth
  • occupation at the time of the child’s birth or, if he was not employed at that time, his last occupation

For the mother:

  • full name and, if applicable, maiden surname
  • date and place of birth
  • usual address at the date of the child’s birth
  • occupation or previous occupation (optional)
  • if married to baby’s father at the time of the birth, the date of the marriage
  • if married to baby’s father at the time of the birth, the number of her previous children by her present husband or any previous husband

It is important that the information recorded in the register should be correct, so it should be checked carefully.

Who can register a birth?

If married at the time of the birth, either parent can register. Where parents are not married, a mother can register a birth, but a father’s details may only be entered if:

  • both parents attend together to register the birth, or
  • the mother attends and produces a statutory declaration of parentage completed by the father, or
  • the father attends and produces a statutory declaration of parentage completed by the mother, or
  • either parent attends and produces a parental responsibility agreement or an appropriate court order

It is possible for another person to register a birth when neither parent is able. The registrar will arrange for whichever of the following people is best able to do so:

  • the occupier of the house or hospital where the child was born
  • a person who was present at the birth
  • a person who is responsible for the child

Registering the birth of a child conceived after fertility treatment

The woman who gives birth, including a surrogate mother, will be registered as the child's mother. In the case of a surrogacy arrangement, the couple who arranged for the surrogate mother to carry a child for them may apply to the courts for a parental order that will enable the birth to be re-registered to show them as the parents.

Registration where the father dies before a child is conceived

Where a child is conceived as a result of fertility treatment after the death of the man, the child's father can be registered on production of the following documentary evidence:

  • his written consent to the fertility treatment and to being named as the father in the child's birth registration
  • written confirmation from the clinic that the man's consent had not been withdrawn
  • the woman's written request for the man to be named as the father in the birth registration
  • written confirmation of the fertility treatment from a medical source, such as the treatment clinic, mother's doctor or hospital doctor
  • the man's original death certificate*
  • a marriage certificate where applicable (original, not photocopy) *
  • *If the death or marriage took place in England or Wales, details of where and when will be sufficient.

Recording the man as a child's father in these circumstances is simply a registration process and does not bestow any legal status or rights in terms of inheritance or nationality.

Parental responsibility

If the parents of a child are married to each other at the time of the birth, they both have parental responsibility, even f they divorce. This is not automatically the case for unmarried parents. By law, a mother always has parental responsibility for her child. A father has this responsibility only if one of the following applies:

  • he is married to the mother when the child is born
  • the parents were not married when the child was born but married afterwards
  • he has a parental responsibility order granted by a court;
  • he has signed a formal parental responsibility agreement with the mother; or
  • the child's birth was registered after 1 December 2003 and he is named as the father on the birth certificate.

Living with the mother does not give a father parental responsibility. If the parents are not married, parental responsibility does not always pass to the father if the mother dies.

When your baby has been registered

After a birth has been registered, you will be given a form to register your baby with your doctor’s surgery, and one 'short' free birth certificate. This short certificate meets most ordinary needs, but a full birth certificate is available.

More information

Last updated: 19 October 2017 12:32:26