Childbirth

Home Department written question – answered on 4th March 2014.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom Conservative, South Northamptonshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) what estimate she has made of the number of live births that were not registered in each of the last five years despite a registrar writing to the parents; and what measures are available to registrars to ensure parents register live births;

(2) what estimate she has made of the number of live births that were not registered in each of the last five years;

(3) what measures are in place to ensure that live births are registered.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

holding answer 3 March 2014

The number of unregistered births reported to the General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales by registrars in each of the last five years are:

  Cases
2009 22
2010 22
2011 25
2012 28
2013 16

A birth is required by the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 to be registered within 42 days of its occurrence. If a birth has not been registered within the 42 day period, and the registrar is unaware of the reason why, they will contact the parents to register the birth.

“Failure to register a birth is an offence under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, with the potential sanction being a level one financial penalty, although practise would be for GRO to issue a further directive to register”.

Although failure to register a birth is an offence under the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, current practice is not to seek convictions as the sanction is a level one financial penalty, rather than a further order to register.

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