Thursday, July 25, 2024

Dr. Love: Being a Godparent


Dear Doctor Love,
I have been living in San Pedro for two years. I have had the same manager of my construction crew since I started my project and we have become very good friends. Last week he asked me if I would be the godparent of his new baby boy and I said yes. Since then, I have started to worry about what being a godparent means here in Belize. A friend of mine told me that he is the godparent of a child in the Phillipines and that if anything happens to the parents he becomes the guardian of the child. I don’t know if I could handle this. I am a single man who has not been married and I wouldn’t know what to do with a child. I am willing to help pay for his education, buy him birthday gifts and so on, like my godfather did but I am from a different background.
Do you have any suggestions for me? Are there any legal requirements?
/s/ Godfather to Be

Dear Godfather,
Don’t worry about it. Being a godfather in Belize is mostly symbolic. It means that the father thinks highly of you and wants you to be a part of his child’s life. He would never have asked someone of questionable character to be the godfather so you should consider it an honor.
As far as custody goes, that is something that is always arranged between families here. If something happens to the parent, the child is usually raised with the grandparents or with an aunt although extremely close friends have been known to take on childrearing duties in a pinch.
You have already said yes but it would be good if you asked your friend what a godfather is expected to do. If it is something you can’t handle it is still early enough to back out of it.

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