Registering a birth

When should you register your baby's birth?

When your baby is born, you must register the birth within 42 days. Where baby was born in Trafford, the birth must be registered at the Trafford Register Office.

However, if you deliver your baby at a Manchester hospital and you are a Trafford resident, we have a special provision in place to allow you to register the birth at Trafford Register Office.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, contact us on 0161 912 3026 between 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday.

What information is required for the registration

  • The date of birth.
  • Where the baby was born (if twins, triplets etc. time of birth is required).
  • The baby's full name.
  • The mother's full name and maiden surname (if she is or has been married).
  • The mother's date and place of birth.
  • The mother's home address at date of baby's birth.
  • The mother's occupation (if she has been employed at any time before the birth, this occupation can be entered if she wishes).

If you want the father's details to be included, we need to know:

  • The father's full name.
  • The father's date and place of birth.
  • The father's occupation at the time of the baby's birth.

The details below are confidential and will not be entered in the register and will not appear on any Birth Certificate:

  • The date of marriage if the parents were married to each other at the time of the birth.
  • The number of children the mother has had previously by her present husband or any former husband.
  • Whether there are any previous still-born children.

If English is not the first language of the parent(s) and they would like someone to help with the registration, they should ask a friend or relative to come with them to the Register Office.

What will you get?

After the birth has been registered, the Registrar will issue a short copy birth certificate, which is free of charge. The certificate shows the baby's forenames, surname, sex, date of birth and district of birth, only.

A full certificate is also available from the Registrar which records details of the parent(s) and is a copy of the entire register entry. There is a fee for this certificate. You will need a full certificate for most purposes, including a passport application.

Duplicate Birth Certificates can be obtained at a later date.

Who can register the birth?

If the parents were married to each other at the time of birth either mother or father can register the baby. However, if the parents were not married to each other at the time of the birth the father's details may only be entered in the following circumstances:

  • Where the mother and the father attend together to register the birth.
  • Where the father is unable to attend with the mother, it is possible for him to make a statutory declaration, confirming that he is the father for the mother to produce to the registrar. Copies of this form (form16) may be obtained from any register office.
  • Where the mother is unable to attend with the father, it is possible for her to make a statutory declaration confirming the name of the father which he, in turn, can produce to the Registrar.
  • Where either parent has obtained a relevant court order or parental responsibility agreement in respect of the child, this should be produced to the Registrar who will advise you further.

Equal parental responsibility

Unmarried fathers get equal parental responsibility. All that is necessary is for both parents to register the birth of your baby together.

The change to the regulations, introduced on the 1st December 2003, is not retrospective, so fathers who are not married to the mother of a child born before 1st December 2003 can still only get parental responsibility either by:

  • Making a written agreement with the mother.
  • Applying to the court for a parental responsibility order.

Parental responsibility for your child gives you important legal rights as well as responsibilities. Without it, you don't have any right to be involved in decisions such as where they live, their education, religion or medical treatment. With parental responsibility, you are treated in law as the child's parent, and you take equal responsibility for bringing them up.

Family Lives (Parentline Plus) have a free helpline where you can talk through the options and ask for advice. Call them on Family Lives 0808 800 2222 or textphone 0800 783 6783.