A birth must be registered within 21 days. In exceptional circumstances a short postponement can be arranged in consultation with the registrars. A birth can be registered anywhere in Scotland.
Either parent can register the birth.
Both parents should register the birth. A father’s name will only be recorded on the birth certificate if he is present when registering.
Same-sex female parents
Married/civil partners: Either parent can register the birth on her own if all of the following are true:
- you had your child by donor insemination or fertility treatment; and
- you were married or in a civil partnership at the time of the treatment.
Unmarried/non-civil-partners: Having made a parenthood agreement both parents can be registered on the birth certificate if you:
- register the birth together;
- complete a Statutory Declaration of Acknowledgement of Parentage form (signed form must be provided when registering); or
- get a court order giving the second female parent parental responsibility; this should be provided when registering.
Same-sex male parents
Male couples must get a parental order from the court before they can be registered as parents.
For circumstances where both parents cannot attend together, please contact the registrar.
Documents you should bring when registering a birth:
- the birth card issued by the hospital giving the child's date and time of birth
- the parents’ marriage certificate (if applicable)
Please note that the registration can still proceed if these certificates are unavailable.
Documents issued when we register a birth:
- birth certificate (abbreviated) which shows the child's name, date and place of birth (free of charge)
- form EC58 containing the child's National Health Service Number which should be submitted to the family doctor
- a full birth certificate can be purchased for a statutory fee.
When a birth occurs abroad
Register the birth according to local regulations in the country concerned and obtain a birth certificate. You may also be able to register the birth with the British Consul in that country for a fee. However, you are under no obligation to do so. A record of the birth will be sent to Scotland and you will thereafter be able to obtain a copy from National Records of Scotland.
Tell Us Once Service
The Tell Us Once service will be offered to you at the time of registering a birth. We pass on information of the birth of your child to other relevant departments within the council and government, such as:
- Department for Work and Pensions – Job Centre Plus
- Housing Benefit Office
- Council Tax Benefit Office
- Library Services
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit