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Christening a child of seperated parents

  • Singledad1
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25 Jul 12 #345261 by Singledad1
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Please ignore the advice that states that it is ok to Christen your child without the consent of the other parent. Christening involves a baptism ceremony, which is the equivalent of converting your child to the religion of Christianity. You are making a choice for them when you do this. Once converted into Christianity, until they choose to convert out, they are Christians.

Some faiths like Hinduism don''t allow you to convert back so technically if your child was converting to Christianity from the Hindhu religion, they could never go back to being a Hindhu (technically)

So the definitive answer is unfortunately no, you cannot do this without the consent of her father. You have to inform him and you have to have his consent. So please disregard the previous advice which is quite misleading.

Incidentally the Christian faith is quite open and you dont have to be baptised to do alot of stuff, like attend church, etc. I know because I spent many years in a Christian boarding school without converting.

If her father has no religious beliefs then he might not object? I suspect you are asking this question because you fear he will object but want to go ahead and do it anyway. But do be empathetic, towards both your ex but mostly your child. Choices like this can realistically wait until your child is old enough to choose for herself and it will be more meaningful to her if it is a decision she has come to objectively, and when she is old enough to decide for herself.

Wish you well.
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  • pixy
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25 Jul 12 #345269 by pixy
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More to the point is why do you want a christening at all? You did not have the older child christened, so presumably you are either not religious or belong to one of the Christian denominations that does not accept infant baptism. A christening is not meant to be a social occasion; it is a religious one.

You say the father of the older one is not religious - frankly that is good reason for him to object.
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  • jslgb
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25 Jul 12 #345272 by jslgb
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You do not need his permission to have your child christened. My stbxh''s first wife made the decision to have his daughter baptised catholic and only mentioned it in passing after the arrangements had been made.

The reality of it is that you could have your daughter christened and not even tell him.

However, i wouldnt recommend this!

Having your child baptised/christened is choosing a path for them for their future. It doesnt necessarily mean they will follow this path when they reach a certain age or have a religion ''forced'' on them, but it is saying that you acknowledge religion in their life and would like them to play a part in this. There can be many different reasons you choose to christen your child. I was christened at an early age and attended church with brownies and family etc but i was never pushed into doing anything i didnt want to as i imagine you wont push your children into doing something they didnt want to.

I chose the path to baptise my daughter into the catholic faith after her father''s religion because i wanted her to have a good, strong catholic education and although she could have this without being baptised, a catholic education heavily involves the church and i didnt want her to be apart form that.

Another feature of baptising/christening your children is selecting godparents who may act as guardians should the need arise. I think if you were to discuss any part of the ceremony with your ex this should be the part.

The fact of the matter is, whether he agrees to it or not he cant stop you. It would be nice to discuss it with him, allow him some choices where your daughter is concerned and give him the opportunity to attend and bring some of his family members with him if you feel it is appropriate.

From your daughters point of view it will be nice to look back and see both her parents there at her christening.
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  • Fiona
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25 Jul 12 #345273 by Fiona
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I stand by what I said. Case law in regard to PR is A v A. Mr Justice Wall as he was at the time remarked:

‘It is a basic principle that, post separation, each parent with parental responsibility retains an equal and independent right and responsibility to be informed and make appropriate decisions about their children. However, where children are being looked after by one parent, that parent needs to be in a position to take the day-to-day decisions that have to be taken while that parent is caring for the children. Parents should not be seeking to interfere with one another in matters which are taking place while they do not have the care of their children. Subject to any questions which are regulated by court order, the object of the exercise should be to maintain flexible and practical arrangements whenever possible.’


At the bottom of the judgement there is attached a schedule which outlines decisions that each parent may take independently without consultation or notification of the other parent, decisions where one parent would always need to inform the other parent but didn''t need to consult and those decisions when parents need to inform and consult the other parent. "Religious and spiritual pursuits" comes under the heading of decisions that parents may can take independently without consultation or notification of the other parent.

www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed57

As far as I''m aware the consent of both parents to baptise a child isn''t required but maybe it depends on the church.

It''s reasonable for separated parents to discuss issues relating to their children whenever possible but sometimes a parent cannot be reasoned with and sensible discussion isn''t possible.
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  • Reddit
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25 Jul 12 #345289 by Reddit
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Is there a deeply religious reason for the Christening or is it simply for the social occasion, because it is the done thing.
I don''t believe in anything but I would not have any issues were my XOH to have my kids baptised. I would appreciate the courtesy of being asked though.
FWIW, I was baptised and not shielded from religion. I made my own choice in my teens - They can''t all be right can they? ;)
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  • Singledad1
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25 Jul 12 #345319 by Singledad1
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Once again, I would suggest that you do not listen to a person telling you to do something which you would be criticised for in a court of law and also very likely make relations worse between the father of your child and yourself, which in turn would make your daughter unhappier.

As to the person who used the fractured logic "Well I dun it so it be legal" please once again note that perhaps this person''s ex probably did not know the law.

1. The baptism in a christening is making a religious decision for your child which will exclude her from being any other religion. This is a major decision and you should consult with all persons with parental responsibility. Doing this will also improve relationships between yourselves and would move in a positive direction, demonstrating that you indeed do care for your children. I imagine this would make your daughter happier as well.

2. The christening ceremony is a naming ceremony and the name of a child has to be agreed by all persons with parental responsibility. Whilst this may not translate legally i.e. into an actual legal name change, it is again demonstrative of the fact that if you had the power to take unilateral decisions, you would.

As to the exclusion argument, as far as I know, no policy exists in the church to exclude anyone who is not baptised from any religious ceremonies, unlike other religions I know of. So it really isin''t going to exclude your child from anything as someone else suggested.

Please note, that not all people offering advice want the best for you and your children. Many people here are angry and abusive and WILL seek to validate their own behaviour by encouraging you to follow suit. Should your ex oppose the decision to christen your child in court you could win or lose. The major point however, is should you do it without consent? Definitively not. For the sake of happiness in the long term over the transient feeling of victory which will only build further resentment and anger. If you can convince him peacefully and you should try if it means alot to you, then you save the expense and have been a good parent. If you dont, it can wait.

Please don''t rely on law to solve your problems, it is meant as a last resort and not designed for small matters of disagreement. It can go either way but everyone loses in the end on the small stuff. At best you will get people giving your their versions of it here. If you are able to work with your ex to achieve agreement, that is good for your kids. If you cant, then accept it till they can make that choice for themselves and they will thank you for it later on. Its your decision.
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  • Singledad1
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25 Jul 12 #345320 by Singledad1
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Oh and further:

1. Religious and spiritual pursuits are not the same as an indoctrination and a naming ceremony. I think it rather pertains to education. I read about another case where the exact opposite happened because the mother wanted to indoctrinate their child into some weird Christian cult that involved going door to door, obviously not in the best interests of the child. She was stopped.

2. Way to go on picking a note from a judgement about a mother making false allegations against the father of sexual abuse. Good to know the kind of material you are reading. I wonder what kind of message that sends to mom...excuse me while i just go and vomit after reading about some of the disgusting and graphic things the mother attempted to allege against father...if anything I would say she has quite a sordid imagination towards her children. I imagine reading this publicised judgement from the child''s perspective when she grows up... and how she would reflect on her mother for doing this. yeesh.
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