Registration reopens for thousands of West Sussex babies born in lockdown

West Sussex’s service for registering births is reopening at certain locations where necessary social distancing measures are in place.

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The service anticipates that it will need to register in excess of 2,000 births in the coming months as lockdown restrictions stalled all birth registrations since the end of March.

The service respectfully asks that those parents whose babies were born in February, March or April 2020 are allowed to book their appointments first.

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The county council will give a further update when they can release bookings for May and June babies.

Residents will be able to register births at offices in Crawley, Chichester (Willow Park), Horsham, Haywards Heath and Worthing and will need to come in for part of the appointment, but each location will have different restrictions.

Anyone wanting to register a birth will first need to book an appointment online.

On your allocated day and time, you will need to attend the chosen office and the registrar will telephone you to take the registration information. It is therefore very important that you have the mobile phone with you that relates to the mobile number given at the time of booking.

The registrar will then print the register page and invite you into the office to sign the paperwork at a table as close to the entrance as possible, with screens and other preventative measures in place.

You will then check and sign the register page in front of the registrar and then the birth certificate can be ordered online after the appointment.

Duncan Crow, cabinet member for fire and rescue and communities, said: “We have really appreciated the patience of residents who have wanted to register a birth during the current pandemic. Unfortunately, due to social distancing restrictions and legislation that only allows for individuals to register a birth face to face, the registration service has had to follow the national guidance accordingly.

“Even though there are still some restrictions in place for the time being, the registrars are looking forward to sharing in your joy at registering the birth of your new baby, but please be patient as they are already very busy tackling the backlog of registrations that have built up during lockdown, so they would appreciate parents’ understanding at this busy time.”

Please note that the service is not given details of new births, so will not be contacting families directly.

Restrictions in place at each location:

Crawley – anyone attending West Sussex Register Office, Crawley will go into the office for the telephone call due to the large space available at this location.

Chichester – anyone attending Willow Park, Chichester will need to sit in their car or stay outside of the building and wait for the registrar to call.

Horsham – anyone attending Park House, Horsham will need to go to the office and use the buzzer to alert the registrar they have arrived.

Haywards Heath – anyone attending Haywards Heath Library needs to sit in their car or stay outside of the building and wait for the registrar to call.

Worthing - anyone attending Worthing Registration Office needs to stay outside of the building and wait for the registrar to call.

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