God parents?

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raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347
God parents?

I don't understand the concept of God parents. It's a religious/Catholic thing, isn't it? DH says that if your child has God parents that they are the legal guardians if something happens to the parents? Is this true? I would have thought that the will would be more legal than a God parent.

I'm my niece's God parent, but she has 3. I thought it was more symbolic and didn't really mean anything. My niece was only baptized and given God parents because my BIL's parents wanted it. And it was in an Anglican church. I think I have a God parent I think on my Dad's side, but I only met her once in my life and I think she's some relative of my grandmother??

DH wants to choose God parents for our child, but we aren't religious. DH was raised Catholic but he's not anymore, he's pagan. I'm an atheist. I'm not sure really why we would need them then?

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

My understanding is that they are people who help enforce the beliefs you find important. When my niece had her God parents named, they had to be Catholic. They don't have to be a couple (my SIL used her husband's sister and her sister's husband) so I would say they aren't the legal guardians. I also think that relationships, health and financial status change over time and could affect the ability to look after a child.

In a religious setting, God parents are named at the church. I've never known non-religious people to do it but I suppose if you had friends/family, you could tell them and let them know that you are putting them down as the legal guardians.

indianajones's picture
Joined: 01/21/07
Posts: 1486

Godparents =/= legal guardians

Those are two completely different things. Sometimes people name the same people to both roles, but they do not necessarily overlap by definition of the role.

As to godparents, I can only give a Catholic perspective (I don't know if other denominations do it). At least one godparent has to be Catholic. Their role is ideally to support the parents in passing on the faith.

If you are not religious, you have no obligation to have godparents for your child.

But figuring out your will, and naming legal guardians just in case? That is something EVERY parent should be doing!

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

:lurk: I am Anglican and my DS has God parents, we decided to baptise him because I felt it was important, even though we don't attend church regularly or are overly religious. He has two Godfather's, my brother and a close friend of hubby's and one Godmother, which is the wife of hubby's friend. If we have a girl she will have my two closest friends as Godmother's and no idea on a Godfather, none are legal guardians or people we would likely name legal guardians