Registering Your Baby's Birth and Name

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In England and Wales, it is a legal requirement to register your baby's birth within 42 days of their arrival, which is six weeks. This registration includes choosing and officially registering the name. Here's what you need to know about how to register your baby's name:

Where to Register Your Baby’s Birth

You can register your baby's birth and name at your local registry office. You'll need to make an appointment in advance and bring certain documents, such as your ID. When registering the birth of your baby, you need to do so in the same district where they were born. If it’s not an option to get to the district where your little one was born, there is an option to attend a registry office elsewhere and ask them to forward the information to the correct district.

Who Can Register the Birth and Name?

If you were married to the other parent when conception occurred or when your baby was born, either parent can register the birth. If you aren’t married, both parents must attend the registration appointment, or one parent can attend with a signed and dated form from the other, known as a declaration of percentage. These can be found online or picked up from a registry office.

If you’re a new mum and you aren’t in a relationship with the other parent, or aren’t planning on co-parenting together, you can make the decision to register your little one’s birth alone, meaning that the dad’s name won’t be included on either the register or the birth certificate. It is possible to change your mind on this and add them on at a later date, but this can be a difficult process.

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Legal Restrictions on Baby Names 

One thing to note when it comes to registering your little one’s name is that there are some restrictions on the names you can choose for your baby. For example, you cannot choose a name that is deemed offensive or includes numbers or symbols of any kind. If you want to give your baby a surname that is different from either of the parents’ surnames, you may also need to provide additional documentation to do so.

Getting a Birth Certificate 

Once you've registered your baby's birth and name, you'll receive a short birth certificate, which contains only your baby’s information. You can also order a full birth certificate, which includes more detailed information and the details of the parents. This version, as well as any further copies of the short version, will come at a small cost.

If you’re looking to register your baby’s birth and name and have any further questions about the process, head to GOV.UK for more information or to find your local registry office.

Registering your baby's birth and name in England and Wales is a straightforward process, but it's important to be prepared and make sure you don’t miss the window to get your baby registered properly!

If you’re still struggling to find the perfect baby name for your little one, take a look at our guide on how to choose the perfect baby name.

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