Register a birth

How to register

You need to register the birth of your baby within 42 days.

If your baby was born in Buckinghamshire, they should be registered in a Buckinghamshire register office.

If your baby was born outside of Buckinghamshire

If your baby was born outside of Buckinghamshire, you should register the birth at a register office in the area where your baby was born.

If your baby was born at:

You can also find your local register office online.

Make a declaration

If your baby was born outside of Buckinghamshire but you're unable to visit the register office in that area, you can register a birth at a Buckinghamshire register office by making a 'declaration’.

If you make a declaration:

  • the birth will not be registered at the office you attend
  • we'll not hold any records or be able to provide any copies of certificates

We'll send the details to the relevant register office. You'll need to contact them for copies of certificates, they'll send them by post which can take up to 10 days.

Who can register a birth

Married or civil partner parents

If the parents are married or in a civil partnership at the time of birth or conception, either the mother or father can register the birth. The details of both parents will be included on the birth certificate.

The parent who attends will need to bring documents for each parent. These can be:

  • a passport
  • a driving licence
  • a utility bill
  • a birth or marriage certificate

Unmarried couples

If the parents are not married at the time of birth or conception:

  • the father's details can only be included on the birth certificate if both parents go together to register the birth
  • the mother can register without the father, but his details will not be included (it may be possible to re-register at a later date and add his details)

If there is a parental responsibility agreement in force, or either parent has an appropriate court order, it should be presented before the registration appointment. For unmarried fathers to get equal parental responsibility, both parents need to register the birth together.

If neither the mother nor the father can attend the appointment, please contact the register office.

Parental responsibility

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 the child lives, their education, religion or medical treatment.

Unlike mothers, married fathers or fathers in a civil partnership with the baby's mother, if you are not married to or in a civil partnership with the baby’s mother, you do not automatically have parental responsibility for them.

With parental responsibility, you're treated in law as the child’s parent and you take equal responsibility for bringing them up.

You can also get parental responsibility by:

  • marrying or entering into a civil partnership with the child’s mother
  • signing an official agreement with the mother
  • getting a court order

This might be something to bear in mind if you have other children.

Family Lives has a free helpline where you can talk through the options and ask for advice.