I've been asked to be Padrino

amstellite

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Sep 5, 2007
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I have been asked to be padrino to a little girl in La Caleta when she is baptized in May. I have known the little girl since she was a baby- she is now 3- but I waould like to know where I satand if I do this.. am I leaving myself open to a legal scenario down the road>>?? I would be happy to support the child as the family often struggles but I am living in the USA and canot get to the DR as often as I would like or even as often as I believe a Godfather should be around for a baby... ideas anybody? cheers MIke
 
Mar 2, 2008
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If you are looking for definitive legal advise this should be in the legal forum.

If you are simply asking for people's opinions then I will venture one.

You should consider it an honor. You will not be held accountable for any expenses, but some form of gift giving is usually an excepted part of the process. Just give what you can afford, and/or what you feel like giving.

That, of course, is just my personal opinion.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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we discussed it before...
you have no legal obligation towards the kid but gifts are expected: for christening, first communion and so on.
personally i would skip it, i think a family should be given this "honour" but i see many gringos being asked to perform as padrino/madrina simply because kid's parents count on additional cash flow from foreigner...
 

tflea

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Jun 11, 2006
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If you say no, will it negatively affect the relationship with the family and little girl? Might be a good time to find that out. There should be no legal compromises if you don't sign any 'legal' docs. It's a favor, an honor, a do-good idea commonly done with close friends or with those of better means from those with fewer means between trusting parties. On a negative note, it's for chumps. On a positive note, it can bring a needy family a little more peace of mind if all parties are sincere. If the family is Catholic and you're not, my experience was that I didn't qualify as a non-Catholic.....just an aside.
 

amstellite

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Sep 5, 2007
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I do know the child for 3 years, almost since her birth, but I do see why asking a gringo like me to be padrino as opposed to other family members there is preferred.. La Caleta is very poor. I think the brothers and cousins may well be ****ed with me though- so maybe I should tread carefully- dont want to make any enemies in my soon- to -be adopted country. ( I hope) Mike
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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there is zero, absolutely no legal obligation, it is purely a religious ceremony so no worries there.
explain to the family that you are honoured but it is against your religious/ethical principles. you can make something up (i make up few religious systems as i go, dominicans have no clue anyways).
you can still help the family with no burden of obligation, just out of good heart...
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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Ethically, you are obliged to insure she gets a Catholic education, and morally you are kind of obliged to help her out as she goes along. My sister's godfather was wonderful and used tosend her a little present...something to show that he was thinkg about her--for years and years...it sort of made her day...on the anniversary of her baptism or her birthday.

You could do that or make plans to set aside some cash for her education...books, an older computer, whatever....down the line.

As long as you are compassionate and understanding and stern enough not to get taken for every little thing...

It is an honor...

HB
 

LaTeacher

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May 2, 2008
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Make sure you know what it entails before you say yes... there are some weird cultural things that come along with being a "padrino" in the DR. You might be expected to foot the bill for the Christening party (which with a gringo as padrino might be a little extravagant). From what my in-laws make of it, it's a pretty serious obligation. To other people, not so much. It really depends on the family, so make sure you find out before you dive in. You could explain to them what being a godfather in the states is and ask how it is in the DR, you know, "just checking to see if it's the same culturally hahaha" and if you don't like the idea, tell them you can't.

There are some rules in the church, too. I think that you need to be single or, if you're not, have been married in the church. And I'm almost certain you need to be a baptized Catholic.
 

El Tigre

El Tigre de DR1 - Moderator
Jan 23, 2003
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Take it from a guy that has 8 God children...it is an honor! Like most have said...no legal obligation but gifts and a little help here and there is expected. Since I have so many I only do birthday and Christmas gifts. Can't afford anything else.
 

AlterEgo

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Jan 9, 2009
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There are some rules in the church, too. I think that you need to be single or, if you're not, have been married in the church. And I'm almost certain you need to be a baptized Catholic.

Not anymore. My grandson's godmother wasn't Catholic, she just had to sign up for classes to convert [which she never did complete :ermm:] One of my cousins is married to a Jewish guy, and they allowed him to baptize a baby. As long as they believe you will see that the child is raised Catholic they'll usually let you do it - in the USA at least. It could be different in DR. I'm godmother to Dominicans, but they were baptized in NJ.

I know that when my husband was a boy and he needed things like books for school he would call his godfather/godmother and they would buy them. Here in the US we usually choose close family members or close friends who are about our age. From what I've seen, in DR they often choose an older person who is well-off.

As an aside, Trujillo was godfather to many thousands of Dominican children, including one of my husband's cousins. According to the book Feast of the Goat each child got $2000, then it was reduced to $1000, then $500, then $200 as their numbers grew - back when a peso = a dollar. Big money in those days. I've heard he also gave money to any child named Rafael too.

AE