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Deciding on Godparents?

  1. #1
    Sam's Avatar
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    Question Deciding on Godparents?

    How should one choose a Godparent for their child? What criteria should these people meet at present and in the future?

    We are at a dilemma on who to choose to be the Godparents of our 4 month old daughter Jade. I myself am Godfather to my brother's first son, so should I make him Godfather to my daughter? Also should we choose family members or friends?

    Please tell me your opinions or previous experiences.

    TIA,

    Sam

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    aldougie is offline Registered User
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    Hi Sam, my husband and I chose to have responsible adults rather than godparents as neither of us are religious but the principles are the same. The worse case scenario is that whoever you chose will be responsible for your child should you not be around to do it. We spent a long time discussing how we wanted our child to be raised and who would be best able to do this for us. The considerations are pretty far reaching :
    if you are religious would your godparents teach your child about your religion and take them to church?
    will they make sure that your child sees both sides of the family regularly?
    does education mean as much to them as it does to you?
    do their opinions and views reflect your own?
    would they bring your child up as closely to the way that you would want your child bringing up?

    We chose my sister and her husband (who my own husband grew up with) but if we had friends who were more suitable then we would have chosen friends. It took us a long time to decide who we would want to do it because if anything were to happen to us this is the decision our child has to live with for the rest of her life.

    Obviously the chances are nothing will happen and they won't be needed in the worse case scenario so their role is really just to spoil you child and let them get away with all the things that you wouldn't! (This is what my own godparents did anyway!)

    Hope this is of some help.

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    Hi aldougie,

    Thanks for your reply. My wife and I are not religious either, so we will be going down the responsible adults route as well. It is a difficult decision to make as we both have our own views on who the responsible godparents should be, and then other family members have their views as well. We just don't want to disappoint anyone.

    Yea, I guess godparents do spoil their godchild in ways, as they feel they have an extra special bond with them. :)

    Well we have till Xmas to decide anyways, as we are hopefully going back home to Scotland to have her christened.

    Many thanks,

    Sam

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    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    God-parents vs. guardians

    Hi all,

    I think that making a distinction between "godparents" and guardians is useful.
    I consider it the job of a god-parent to help oversee a child's spiritual and ethical development, whereas a guardian is a person that you appoint legally to care for your children in case you and the child's other parent are incapacitated or killed.

    So, I have one of my sisters and one of my dear friends here in HK as my kids godparents. I have appointed another sister, who I feel is in a better position to take on the burden of raising the kids if something happens, to be their guardian.

    Just out of curiosity - why have your child christened (baptized) if you are not religious/don't believe in G-d? Why not just have a naming ceremony or Welcome to the Baby party instead?

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    Hi loupou,

    We're not religous, but this doesn't mean we don't believe. We would like to think there is a god up there somewhere.

    We would like to have her christened as all my family members have been christened even though we are non-practicing. We would also like her to be named and have a family gathering too.

    mea (Sam's wife)
    Last edited by mea; 09-04-2003 at 10:35 AM.

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    ah ha ... I knew somebody would ask that question. Hope the above reply from my wife sorts that out.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Sam

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    beckveldman is offline Registered User
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    Sam and mea, we're expecting soon, and have gone through this loop.

    We looked as godparents as a way to bring into our child's life, in a formal way, a pair of people to whom we are close and who therefore have a good handle on our wishes, not only religious but in more general "way of life" areas. We decided against naming any family members for one good reason - we figure if something were to happen to us, our child already has devoted aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. who would naturally take a keen interest and feel a connection to our child. For us, the naming of godparents is an opportunity to demonstrate to selected close friends that we value their support and input at the same level as family, if you know what I mean. Kind of gives a formal connection, or role.

    And FWIW, I agree wholeheartedly with loupou's distinction between godparents and guardians: e.g. our selected godparents will not be asked to become guardians, my parents fill that role.

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    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    Dear Beckveldman

    I would think carefully about having grandparents as guardians. If something were to happen to you your child needs to have guardians who will be able to look after them until they are able to look after themselves (maybe for over twenty years).

    Ten years ago my parents, then in their sixties, would have been able to cope with raising my children. Now in their seventies, however, they would not be able to do so. And I can see that over the next ten years it would be my children looking after them instead of the other way around.

    Because of this my husband and I looked to our siblings to find guardians for our children. I think it is important to not only take in the current situation but also the future situation when thinking of our children’s future.

    If your parents are not yet elderly it may be difficult for you to imagine what they will be like in ten years time. I know that I never expected to have to change roles with my mother and become the one caring for her instead of her caring for me. It may help to become acquainted with some elderly people and discover exact how infirm the seventy and eighty age group is.

    Best wishes,
    Barb

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