Q&A

Can we baptize our baby in the Church though we are not married?

Can we baptize our baby in the Church though we are not married?

Full Question

Is it possible for my girlfriend and me to baptize our baby in the Catholic Church even though we are unmarried?

Answer

Every Catholic parent has a duty to baptize their children in the Church. The code of Canon says:

“Parents are obliged to take care that infants are baptized in the first few weeks; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, they are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared properly for it” (CIC 867 §1).

But to validly baptize your child, the Church demands that 

For an infant to be baptized licitly:

1/ the parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;

2/ there must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.

An infant of Catholic parents or even of non-Catholic parents is baptized licitly in danger of death even against the will of the parents.

CIC. 868

However, as is the usual case in the Church, “An infant in danger of death is to be baptized without delay.” CIC. 867

Can we baptize our baby in the Church though we are not married?

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52 Comments

  1. Of course a baby can be baptized despite the fact that you and the father are not married. We are talking about the soul of the child and saving that. Not saving you soul. By the way, you might have gotten married before having the child which the church can also do for you. Then you can be baptised and ask forgiveness for your sins.

  2. I know of two parishes that the pastor will not baptize the child if the parents are not married and they know that they do not go to church. Is this wrong?. Also there are a lot of Catholic churches in cook county that will baptize the child! What is going on?

    1. The issue is: If no one is going to Church, how do you intend to raise the child Catholic? I don’t think there is any rule that says they HAVE to go to Church as much as it is just common sense. The reason so many priests will Baptize the baby anyway is that they know that by doing so, they family may well come back to an active faith life. It’s a risk he’s willing to take.

  3. Need to know this? Ok what about the godparents can they baptize the child if they are not married by the church just living together? Cause I see that a lot of catholic church are not allowing it n that is so so wrong its nobody business if that’s who the parents pick them let it be!

  4. can the Godparents you choose be taking of the batism certificate and others replace them. The Godparents that were chosen turned out not to be what we thought they were. They totally changed once they Baptized the baby.

    1. Nope. You got who you got. While the Church encourages the Goparent to be the Sponsor at the child’s Confirmation, it doesn’t have to be. The child can choose someone else then to fulfill that responsibility.

  5. in basic rules thê parent should be married.
    the priest will give the waiver or promise to the parent to get married as soon they have money to finance their wedding

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