How to Choose Your Baby's Godparents

How to Choose Your Baby's Godparents

How do you choose your baby's godparents? Is being your best friend enough, or are there other qualities should you consider in deciding on godparents for your child?

Zach Braff’s longtime buddy, and former Scrubs costar, Donald Faison bestowed upon Zach one of the greatest honors a parent can give someone: the title of godfather. In true celeb fashion, Zach turned to Twitter to announce the big news with an adorable photo of him and baby Rocco (similarly, Jaime King recently announced that Jessica Alba and Topher Grace are her son James’ godparents on Instagram). The funnyman couldn’t resist a silly caption: “Me and my god son. Made with @donald_faison’s sperm.”

But choosing Godparents is no laughing matter, and it can be a daunting task—one that takes more thought than you’d think. It’s not just about picking your sister or your BFF, you really need to think about who will be the best fit for your family in every way.

Godparent means different things to different people, so first think about what it means to you. Are you looking for religious role models who will give your children spiritual and moral guidance throughout their lives? Do you want your baby’s godparents to be emergency guardians in case anything should ever happen to you and your baby’s dad? Or do you just want your children to be surrounded by people who love them, and who will be there during the most important events in their lives—basically, a second set of supportive loved ones to talk to and confide in? Or are your ideal godparents all of the above?

Proximity is something to consider too. If someone lives across the country, can they be as big of a life influence on your child as someone near by, who can make it to every game, recital or birthday? Or if something does happen to you, are you ok with your child being uprooted to move to another city or state (though obviously where someone lives now doesn’t mean they’ll be living there forever anyway)?

Do you want godparents who are very similar to you? Or would you prefer them to give your kids a new perspective on life that is different from yours but still compliments it? How involved do you expect them to be?  For instance, your ER surgeon/former sorority sister that you’ve loved and treasured for years may not be able to be as present in your baby’s life as someone with a less crazy job.

There are so many questions to ask yourself before deciding. It’s good to start thinking about it while you’re pregnant, so hopefully you have ones chosen by the time the baby is born. A good time to start discussions might be when you’re about 16 weeks pregnant, when you’re ready to go public but there’s still plenty of time to consider all the ins and outs.

But even if you’re 40 weeks pregnant and about to give birth, keep talking! Confession time: my son’s 16 months old and my hubby and I still haven’t settled on godparents. At this rate, he could have a wife before he has a godmother!

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About the Author

Patty Adams Martinez

Patty Adams Martinez

Patty Adams Martinez is a writer for Parents magazine.