How To Choose Godparents

Don't put it off — especially if you knew who it was all along.

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Choosing a guardian can be a real pain. Some people really dig Groot. Some people are down with Rocket. And nobody really cares about Star-Lord, do they? The decision is almost as tough as deciding who will be the legal guardian for your kid, aka choosing godparents, should they become orphaned like Star-Lord. Okay, maybe someone does care.

Seriously though, choosing godparents can be an emotional ride. After all, they only really come into play should the worst happen to you, and that’s no fun for anyone to think about. Least of all, you. But if you’re thinking about it instead of doing anything about it, the experts will tell you you’re already too late. Yes, you’d rather confront a thousand dirty diapers than your own mortality, but that’s nothing compared to the mess that would occur if a judge had no guidance as to who you’d like to raise your kids (and change them, ASAP).

Start by repeating this mantra, “It’s. Not. Permanent.” Any decision you make today can be changed if your choice proves unfit in the future. Generally, you want to think in 3-year intervals. Your older sister may be great while your kid is still a baby, but your brother might be better suited for the teenage years.

Along the same lines, consider everyone. There’s no rule that says you have to rely on family, because sometimes family is not reliable. Your fraternity brother might end up being the perfect fit, particularly if they are already fond of your kid, share a religion or social network, and still haven’t told your partner about that one night with the keg, the blindfold, and the goat.

The important thing to remember is that if you think you’re going to wait until you find the perfect person, you’re going to be waiting way too long. No one is perfect; experts say if you focus on love and kindness, you can start narrowing down the field.

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Once you have a working list, spend some time with your choices to see how they get on with your kid. Are they impatient? Too fussy? Stringent rule followers? These things matter. It also matters that they share as many of your values as possible. It actually doesn’t matter that much if your prospective guardian isn’t necessarily a financial genius. You can help solve that yourself, sometimes by simply adding life insurance to be issued to the guardian, or by establishing 2 guardians: one to manage your estate and another to care for the children. As long as they see eye to eye.

Finally, decision time. Talk with the person you’ve chosen to make sure they are aware of their possible future responsibility. Then, write down the reasons for your choice, so it’s in your own words and free of ambiguity, before making your awesome announcement. Whether you choose to phrase it as, “An offer they can’t refuse” is entirely up to you, but also totally cliché. Even a Guardians Of The Galaxy reference would be more creative at this point.

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