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Why Do I Have To Register My Child's Birth?

If you or your partner have recently had a baby, you will need to register the birth.  By law, your baby's birth must be registered within 42 days of the date of birth. You will also need proof of your child's birth for various purposes, for example, to claim child benefit, to register your baby with a doctor obtain a passport, or start school.

Birth Registration Form GRO4

Who Can Register A Birth?

The following people can register a child's birth:

  • The mother or father of the baby – if you are a married couple.  In the case of a child born outside marriage, the name of the father can only be recorded in the entry of birth if both parents are in attendance and sign the registration together.  If either parent is unavailable, you should speak to the Registrar.  Further information on unmarried fathers is available from the birth registration form.
  • Maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, maternal aunt or maternal uncle of the baby who has knowledge of the birth.
  • The occupier of the premises where the baby was born.
  • Any person present at the birth.
  • Any person having charge of the child.

A birth can also be registered to two female parents under certain circumstances.  For further information, we advise you to call a member of the registration staff.

Where Can The Birth Be Registered?

In any Registration Office in Northern Ireland, providing the baby was born in Northern Ireland.

What Information Will I Need To Bring With Me?

You will need to fill in a birth registration form. Birth Registration Form GRO4 (www.nidirect.gov.uk)

What You Receive When You Register?

Once the registration has been completed, a member of the Registration Staff will issue the following:

  • HS123 Infant Registration Form to register baby with the Doctor to obtain a medical card
  • One free short birth certificate.

Additional certified copies of Short or Full Birth Certificates may be purchased at a cost of £8 each at the time of registration.

Ordering A Certified Copy Of A Birth Certificate After The Time Of Registration

Certified copies of all births registered in Northern Ireland may only be obtained from:

General Register Office, NISRA, Colby House, Stranmillis Court, Belfast, BT9 5RR.
Telephone the General Register Office – 0300 200 7890 (ringing from within N Ireland/UK) or + 44300 200 7890 (ringing from outside N Ireland/UK) and paying by debit/credit card.

http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro (Certificates can be ordered on line)

More Information

The General Register Office, NISRA, Colby House, Stranmillis Court, Belfast, BT9 5RR, provides help and advice about the following issues:

  • Re-registration of birth, for example, if you want to add the father’s name after the initial registration.
  • Recorded name changes.

Detailed information about all these topics is available from http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/gro