How to Legally Make Someone the Godmother of Your Child

••• lensky-zev/iStock/GettyImages

Contrary to what some may believe, appointing the role of godmother is not a legal commitment. Traditionally, it refers to the spiritual sponsor of a child. These days, it usually refers to someone who will act as a supportive friend and mentor to the parents and the child. A godmother is sometimes confused with a legal guardian, who agrees to assume legal guardianship of the child in the case of the parents' death.

Role of a Godparent

Traditionally, the role of godparents is tied with the Catholic Church. If you are a member of the church, a godmother would be responsible to help the growing child develop and grow with Christian values. For the nonreligious, a godmother supports the child as they grow and helps him or her as a mentor and friend.

Role of a Guardian

The role of a guardian differs slightly from that of a godparent. When you appoint a guardian in your will, he or she has legal responsibility to care for the child or children in case the parents are deceased or unable to care for minor children.

Things to Consider When Appointing a Godmother

When looking to select a godmother, choose someone who will be supportive of your child during his or her upbringing. She must have the capacity and sense of responsibility to become a legal guardian if necessary. If you are religious, make sure you understand the godparent's responsibilities. For example, the Church of England traditionally requires a godparent to be baptized and confirmed. The Roman Catholic Church requires that a godparent be confirmed and receive Holy Communion. She must be approved by the priest or pastor, and be at least 16 years of age. A child may have just a godmother, or two godparents.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Guardian

Prepare a list of possible guardians, and take several things into consideration when compiling your list. What is the level of responsibility, lifestyle, morals and child raising experience? Will your children be compatible with their family? Are there age differences? Consider the age of the guardians whether they have children or not.

When you narrow down your list, meet with the selected candidates. This is as much an interview so you can determine if they are up to the task of raising your children as is a chance to for your potential guardian to figure out if they want the responsibility that comes along with guardianship.


About the Author

Lexi Sorenson has been writing professionally since 2008. She has published articles in periodicals such as "The Maryland Gazette," "The Hamilton Spectator" and "Make." In addition to blogging, she writes fiction in her spare time. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from McGill University.