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Register a birth

If parents are married to each other:

  • Either the mother or father can register the birth

If parents are not married to each other:

  • The mother should register the birth herself, or
  • If the father’s name is to be entered in the register, both the mother and father should be available during the telephone appointment, or both attend the office for the appointment.  (Should there be circumstances where both parents cannot be available for a telephone appointment or cannot attend together, please contact the Registrar for advice)

A woman who is not married to, or in a civil partnership with, the mother can only register the birth and be named in the register as a parent if the provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 apply to them and:

  • She jointly signs the register with the mother;
  • She and the mother sign declarations that she is the parent (contact your local registration office for the forms); or
  • A court declares that she is the parent and the mother registers the birth

Information on who has parental responsibilities and rights for a child is available in the Scottish Government publication Family matters on the Scottish Government website.

Only in exceptional circumstances is it possible for another relative to register the birth.  You should contact the Registrar in advance for advice.

What you will need for your appointment:

  • Birth registration card from maternity hospital or midwife
  • Your birth certificate(s)
  • Your marriage certificate
  • If you were born outside Scotland, it is helpful if the Registrar can physically see your birth extract.  If you were married or registered your civil partnership outside Scotland, it is also helpful if the Registrar can see your marriage or civil partnership extract.  These can be scanned to the Registrar during a telephone appointment or shown to the Registrar during an office appointment.

If some of these documents aren’t available, speak to the Registrar will be able to advise you further.

When you register the birth of your baby, you will be issued with:

  • A free abbreviated birth certificate
  • A letter to register your baby with your doctor


There is no charge to register the birth of your baby. However, if you want a full birth certificate with details of the parents, this costs £10 at the time of registration.

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