Update from HM Gov on current Registration of Births in England and Wales

Thanks to Peter Calver and his Lost Cousins Newsletter for bringing this update from HM Gov on Registration of Births in England and Wales to our attention: 


"No plans to allow online birth registrations in England & Wales BREAKING NEWS

On 21st April Baroness Scott of Needham Market (pictured, right) asked the government a written question:


"To ask Her Majesty's Government what alternatives are available for registering a birth where the local registrar has closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and how the 42-day legal deadline will be dealt with in such circumstances."

It took a while for the answer to come back - it was answered by Baroness Williams of Trafford, and posted online.

"Information for a birth registration is legally required to be given in person by a qualified informant before a registrar. The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) has advised that birth registration appointments should, where possible, be deferred while the current measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 are in place. Where there is an urgent need for a birth to be registered, GRO and Local Authority registrars are considering how this can be achieved on a case-by-case basis within public health guidance and local authority policy.

"The requirement for births to be registered within 42-days of the date of birth is not currently being enforced. Longer term planning to ensure all births are registered will be aligned to public health guidance."

As Peter says "Death registrations are taking place - indeed they’re crucial to the statistics on which the government and their scientific advisers are relying"

Peter asks "I wonder how long the emergency will have to continue before changes to births and marriage regulations are implemented - will there be a 'new normal' when all this is over?

Note: it’s largely thanks to Baroness Scott that we can now order PDF copies of many birth and death "certificates. "

Couldn't agree more Peter. This will be an ineresting issue for future genealogists. 


As an interesting aside, the Government website shows that you cannot get married or register a civil partnership at the moment  and so we conclude that any ceremonies that may occur and for example are streamed on line are not valid marriages.

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