Register a birth

A birth must be registered within 42 days. If you do not register within this period the Register Office will write to you to remind you of your legal responsibility.

A birth must be registered in the district where it occurs. However, if a birth occurs outside Calderdale a declaration can be made here and forwarded to the Registrar of that district, who will then issue any paperwork.

Please note: we rely on the postal service to send declaration information to other districts, which can lead to a delay in certificates being issued.

Who can register a birth?

Parents married to each other

If the parents of the child were married to each other at the time of the birth (or conception), either the mother or the father may register.

Parents not married to each other

If the parents were not married to each other the simplest way is for both parents to attend to register together. If this is not possible there are 3 other ways the father's details can be registered:

  1. The father fills in a declaration form to confirm he is the father and the mother gives this form to the register office.
  2. The mother fills in a declaration form confirming the father’s details and the father registers the birth at the register office alone.
    (Copies of the declaration form are available from any Register Office)
  3. In some cases a court order will be made naming the father. In this case the mother can register the birth alone but please contact the register office first.

Other people who may register births

Although the majority of births are registered by the parents, in some extreme cases neither the mother nor the father are able to do this. In these circumstances please contact Calderdale Register Office for further advice.

Information to be supplied for the registration of a birth



Father (where this information is to be entered in the register)

It is most important that the information recorded in the birth register is correct. If any mistake is made, for example in the spelling of a name or surname or in the description of the father's or mother's occupation, it will give the parents or other person who registered the birth some trouble to have it put right. The person registering the birth should check the information to be recorded in the register very carefully before the entry is signed.

What documents will be issued?

A short birth certificate will be issued free of charge. This shows the name(s) and surname, sex and date and district of birth of the child and can be used to support a claim for Child Benefit.

Full birth certificates that show the parents' details are also available to buy. (This is the certificate you will need for a passport or bank account).

Parental responsibility

The mother of a child, and the father if he is married to the mother, automatically has parental responsibility. Where the parents are not married to each other, the father will acquire parental responsibility if he acts with the mother to have his name recorded in the child's birth registration on or after 1 December 2003. An unmarried father can also obtain parental responsibility by later marrying the child's mother; by making a parental responsibility agreement with her or by getting a court order. You may wish to think about this if you have other children.

If you need further information or advice, you should contact:

or obtain legal advice.

Book an appointment

To make an appointment to register a birth, Book an appointment with the Register Office.


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Last Updated: 02/10/2015