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Council Services:

Register a birth for a female couple

A law has been introduced on the way births are registered for female couples, one of whom has received fertility treatment on or after 6 April, 2009.  This law allows the birth mother’s female partner to be registered as a second parent, along with the birth mother.

The child can be registered with this second female parent regardless of whether or not the couple have formed a civil partnership with each other. However, the regulations are quite complex and parents should contact us on 01522 782244 for enquiries, information and appointments.

Please note: This new law does not apply to male couples.

Registering the birth of a child conceived after fertility treatment

The woman who gives birth, including surrogate mothers, will be registered as the child’s mother.  The husband/partner of the woman who received treatment will generally be regarded as the father of the child.


The couple who arranged surrogacy may apply to the courts for a parental order. This will allow the birth to be re-registered to show them as the parents.

Seek legal advice if you need more information.

When a court issues a parental order, a copy is sent to Corrections and Re-registration Section at the General Register Office. The re-registration of the birth will be completed by them.

A child is conceived, through fertility treatment, after the death of a man receiving treatment with the mother

The man can be registered as the child’s father if the following is shown:

  • his written consent to the fertility treatment and to being named as the father in the child’s birth registration. This is not required if the man died before 18 September 2003.
  • written confirmation from the clinic that the man’s consent had not been withdrawn. This is not required if the man died before 18 September 2003.
  • the woman’s written request for the man to be named as the father in the birth registration.
  • written confirmation of the fertility treatment from a medical source. For example, the treatment clinic, mother’s doctor or hospital doctor.
  • the man’s death certificate - original required, a photocopy is not acceptable. If he died in England or Wales, details of where and when will be sufficient.
  • a marriage certificate where applicable - original required, a photocopy is not acceptable. If the marriage took place in England or Wales, details of where and when will be sufficient.

In these circumstances, the man will only be recorded as a child’s father for registration purposes. This does not mean he will be treated in law as the child’s father.

It does not give the child any legal status or rights concerning, for example, inheritance or nationality.

Need an appointment?

For your convenience, you can book an appointment to register a Birth or Death online.


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Last updated: 30 June 2016

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