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How to Make a Person a Legal Godparent

By Michael Monet ; Updated April 18, 2017
You can choose one godparent or two godparents of the opposite sex.

Naming godparents is a Catholic tradition performed at a child's baptism ceremony. To make one or two people your child's legal godparents, you will have to do so under the rules of the church in your diocese and Catholic law. This law sets guidelines for the sacraments godparents must have taken, the minimum age the godparents can be and the oaths the godparents must take.

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Write a list of possible godparents for your children. Family members and close friends who are also members of the church are eligible to become your child's godparents.

Check whether each person on your list meets the minimum requirements according to Catholic law. These requirements say that the godparents must be: one male, one female or one male and one female; practicing members of the Catholic faith; sufficiently well-connected to the family; willing to pray for the child regularly, set an example of Catholic living, give encouragement to the child to follow Christ; be at least 16 years of age.

Choose one male, one female or one male and one female from your list who meets all requirements. Ask for their permission, then arrange that they be present to learn their roles during the baptism ceremonies.

Practice the prayers and rituals that the godparents will perform at the baptism. A formal practice is usually arranged between the priest and whoever else is participating in the baptism ceremony.

Hold the baptism with the godparents present. Sign the appropriate papers to officialize the baptism, provided by your priest.


A godparent is legal only according to Catholic law. This does not hold weight at the local, state or national levels of law.

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About the Author

Michael Monet has been writing professionally since 2006. At the San Francisco School of the Arts, he studied under writers Octavio Solis and Michelle Tea, performed his work in Bay Area theaters and was published in literary journals such as "Paradox," "Umlaut" and "Transfer." Monet also studied creative writing at Eugene Lang College in New York and Mills College in Oakland.

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