What Is the Purpose of Civil Baptism?


The purpose of civil baptism

Civil baptism: where does it take place?

Civil baptism is performed outside of any religion and allows designating a godfather or a godmother for his child. Any legislative or regulatory text does not govern it. It is also called “Republican baptism” or “Republican sponsorship”. Let’s discover this practice together.

What is the purpose of civil baptism?

Presentation of civil baptism

Civil baptism allows parents to designate a godfather or godmother for their child. This designation is done outside of any religious framework.

The designated person must agree to assume the role of godfather or godmother.

Note: civil baptism is also considered a ceremony where the child enters the Republican community to share its values.

Obligations of the godfather or godmother

The exact role of the godfather or godmother must be defined by mutual agreement between the godfather and the parents. In principle, this agreement does not constitute a contract.

The civil baptism sponsor undertakes to replace the parents, to a certain extent, if they disappear or fail in their mission. He or she must then help the child, at least morally.

Attention: the civil baptism godfather must not be confused with a tutor. In particular, he or she is not responsible for managing the child’s assets. If the parents want to designate a guardian, they must do so by a document signed in front of a notary or through a will. This guardian will have to take care of the child until he or she reaches the age of majority in the event of the parent’s death. The parents can choose the persons who are also godparents of the civil baptism, provided that they meet the legal requirements to be guardians.

Civil Baptism: Where does it take place?


A civil baptism must take place at the town hall. Therefore, the parents must seek the reception and organizing of the civil baptism at their municipality’s town hall.

Role of the town hall

The town hall is not obliged to organize the civil baptism. If it refuses, the parents can ask another municipality (for example, a city with which the family has special ties).

The town hall can ask for official documents for the civil baptism: birth certificate, family record book, or identity papers.

Good to know: the municipality can organize the civil baptism only if certain conditions are met. For example, the “baptized” child must be young (ideally, a baby). Some communes, it seems, accept that the godparents are minors (while requiring that they be of minimum age, for example, 13 years).

Certificates of sponsorship

No legislative or regulatory text imposes a special ceremony if the town hall organizes the civil baptism. The ceremony is presided over by the mayor or a deputy. The municipality’s representative delivers a speech, during which he or she reminds the audience of Republican values.

The mayor’s office may issue documents to the participants, such as sponsorship certificates. These documents have no legal value.

Note: civil baptism is not a civil status document. It is therefore not recorded in the civil status registers.

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Hope this post has been informative to you, and the above list will help you with more events. Please, do not hesitate to comment below.

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