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Registering a birth

Register a birth

A newborn baby must be registered within 42 days of the date of birth.  The baby should be registered in the registration district where it was born.

Please note if the baby's birth mother resides in South Tyneside and the baby was born in Sunderland, the registration can be completed at either Sunderland or South Tyneside Register Office.

If you are unable to register your child in the district where they were born, you can make a declaration at any other Register Office in England or Wales.  The certificate will then be issued and sent by post from the district where your child was born.

Who can register a birth?

If the parents are married or in a civil partnership to each other when the baby is born, either parent can register the birth.

If the parents were not married or in a civil partnership to each other at the time of the birth, then, for the father's details or second female parent in a same sex- relationship, to be entered into the register he or she must also attend the registration.

If one parent is unable to attend, the absent parent can make a statutory declaration of parentage form  acknowledging parentage or either parent can obtain a Court Order naming the father's details or second female parent.  Please contact the Register Office (0191) 520 5553 for further information if either of these situations apply. 

The birth mother can choose to register the birth on her own if she isn't married or in a civil partnership with the child's father's or second female parent. The father or second female parent, won't be included on the birth certificate. It might be possible to add their details on at a later date by re-registering the birth.

Where to register a birth

If your baby was born in Sunderland, you can register the birth at any of these 3 venues by booking an appointment;

  • Register Office, City Hall, Plater Way, Sunderland, SR1 3AA  
  • The Hetton Centre, Hetton le Hole, DH5 9NE 
  • The Rainbow Family Centre, Washington, NE37 3AE 

Book an appointment

You can book an appointment online to register the birth of your baby at any of the 3 venues.  

The online booking form will ask you to pay for the birth certificate upfront. You will then receive the certificate during your appointment. 

Please note extra copies are not available on the day and you should order and pay for all copies you need prior to the appointment. 

Check availability and book your appointment here

Alternatively, you can contact Life, family and learning to arrange the appointment or make any changes to an existing appointment over the telephone.


All fees can be viewed here.

During your appointment

It would be helpful (but not essential) if you could bring supporting documents to your appointment, so the correct details are recorded.  Information entered incorrectly onto the register can be difficult to change and will incur a fee of up to £90. 

If English is not your first language, you may ask a friend or relative to come with you to act as an interpreter.

During your appointment, you will receive the birth certificate if you have paid in advance. 

 The supporting documents could be;

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Deed poll
  • Proof of address (a utility bill or council tax bill)

The registrar will ask you a series of questions;

  • place and date of the birth
  • time of the birth, if a multiple birth
  • full name and surname of the baby
  • sex of the baby
  • parents' full names and surnames (including any other previous names)
  • parent's addresses
  • places and dates of parents' birth
  • date of parents' marriage or civil partnership
  • parents' jobs at the time of the birth
  • birth mother's maiden surname if she is, or has ever been, married or in a civil partnership
  • number of previous children the birth mother has

Sunderland Family Hubs

All new parents have the option to receive a welcome visit from our friendly staff to talk about how you might benefit from using a Family Hub.

Family Hubs are a great Start for Life for babies, from conception through to 2 years old.  Support is available to families of children aged up to 19, or to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged up to 25.  It is our ambition to ensure families can access the right support, at the right time, in the right place, with the right people.

All Family Hubs provide access to classes, activities and support and advice on topics such as relationships and health. We have a network of 5 Family Hubs throughout Sunderland, and they are located in;

  • Bunny Hill
  • Coalfields
  • Hendon
  • Thorney Close
  • Washington

You can also keep up to date with what is happening in your local Family Hub on our social media channels - My Best Life, Facebook and Instagram.

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