The Godparent Trap

SantiagueroRD

Bronze
Apr 20, 2011
764
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Good Morning, The posters here who have real life experience in the DR know exactly what I am referring to. It has been my experience that this does not only apply to foreigners but that it has long been a tradition among most segments of society to name the wealthiest/most connected person to be the Godparent of a new baby in order to try and secure some benefit. I think that the only wrinkles that are foreigner specific is the relatively short time of aquaintance and the subsequent requests for financial support that are insisted on.
 

Criss Colon

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
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"Been There,Done That"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are 1000% On-the-Money!
It is just a more sophisticated version of,"Mi Madre Esta Interna y necesito dinero"!
I tell them I don't believe in God,USUALLY that works.Sometimes you just say "No Gracias",I Can't.Cris Colon
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,945
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Absolutely!! Years ago it was asking Trujillo to be the god father so as to "protect" the family...

You nailed that one....

HB
 

mountainannie

Platinum
Dec 11, 2003
14,944
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elizabetheames.blogspot.com
I am godmother to several children, American and Haitian. My contract with them is thus.. "Thank you so much for the honor of appointing me as a spiritual guide for your children. Please understand that due to the requirements of my own blood family, I will not be able to contribute financially to the upkeep of your child. However, I will remember him/her in my nightly discussions with the Great Spirit. I also promise, that should you drop your mortal coil, I will see to it that the child is placed in competent hands from within his blood relatives. Also, since I am not a practicing Christian, I will not be able to attend any sort of religious ceremonies, nor is it within my tradition to give gifts. Again thank you so very much for this honor."

I think that every foreigner here should consider this sort of arrangement with 6 or 7 of the ONE HALF of the population that is under 18..
One Domnican young woman whom I know has FIVE women that she considers MOTHER

now, maybe this is just the difference between

the Fairy Godmother

and the\

Godfather
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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It would be better for all concerned to,"Just-Say-No"!
That way they could move on to the next "Cash Cow" in the line.
You could still offer to "help",just nothing formal.
CC
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
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My wife and I are god parents to one girl, who is now 13. We bring her clothing and shoes, same as we do her sisters. We have never, so far, been asked for any money. I will be bringing her a new volleyball because she is lives to play volleyball. We may help her with university at that time, but as her parents are not particularly poor, that may not be required. The mother has been known to my wife since her high school years and the father's family since before he was born.
 

suarezn

Gold
Feb 3, 2002
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The OP is right...but it's pretty rude to say No to these things. If someone asks you it's because they consider you a good friend. Best is to say you'll be "Padrino de Agua" who doesn't have the same responsibilities as the actual godfather and you're still a Compadre / Comadre.
 

expatsooner

Bronze
Aug 7, 2004
712
10
0
The OP is right...but it's pretty rude to say No to these things. If someone asks you it's because they consider you a good friend. Best is to say you'll be "Padrino de Agua" who doesn't have the same responsibilities as the actual godfather and you're still a Compadre / Comadre.
I agree with you if you have known the family for years and you actually consider them to be good friends as well then the "Padrino de Agua" could be a very good option.

But I don't think it is rude to say no if the relationship is a casual one or you haven't known them for years and have a solid established relationship that has stood the test of time. They are being rude and trying to manipulate you so why would it be rude to say no?

IMO - If they would not come up on my own personal top 50 (or even top 100) list of perspective godparents for my own children then I would say that you can say no graciously without feeling rude while avoiding "the godparent trap".
 

Givadogahome

Silver
Sep 27, 2011
4,397
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I accepted to be godparent to my wifes Brothers son, he has a job, works all day, always has, doesn't drink, never accepts anything and always either pays or demands 50/50 when we go out with him and his. I declined her sister as she is young, has no job, has an asshole boyfriend, she will mount to nothing.
Use your intelligence, it is not good to decline every instance, if you can't spot a genuine request from a sponging advance then you will not make many real friends in the country.
But in general, knock back people who don't have decent or no jobs, or if you hardly even know them which is quite common so I hear.
 

pi2

Banned
Oct 12, 2011
961
0
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It is a serious business:
When I was a godparent I kept money in a reserve account to cope with any situation; also bought presents for birthdays etc.
My godfather financially and otherwise assisted my family when trouble struck. I tried to repay by a christmas hamper each year in his old age.
One of my neighbors died along with his wife in a road accident ; the godparents ended up fostering the chidlren for 5 years or so till they were 16 and could look after themselves.
I try to think of those, now dead, who donated food etc. to my family; If you are not in the position to really make a 1 - 15 year committment don,t. Give something on a regular basis.

pi2



I accepted to be godparent to my wifes Brothers son, he has a job, works all day, always has, doesn't drink, never accepts anything and always either pays or demands 50/50 when we go out with him and his. I declined her sister as she is young, has no job, has an asshole boyfriend, she will mount to nothing.
Use your intelligence, it is not good to decline every instance, if you can't spot a genuine request from a sponging advance then you will not make many real friends in the country.
But in general, knock back people who don't have decent or no jobs, or if you hardly even know them which is quite common so I hear.
 

minerva_feliz

New member
May 4, 2009
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I'd rather be thought of as an eccentric tia of sorts, or as a caring buddy and role model by the kid as a result of a relationship formed naturally over time than be implicated in some religiously affiliated arrangement.

You can have a meaningful relationship with a kid without taking on that title and the apparently subjective responsibilities.
 

Givadogahome

Silver
Sep 27, 2011
4,397
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Hang on here, when you accept to be a godparent you are not signing into a contract, you are not signing into any contract of any kind. The responsibility of a godparent is merely to be there to help out (usually in organizing a new home and not financially) should something happen to the parents, be a non direct guide in the childs life when they need some advice they maybe can't seek closer to home, be a friend and extended family or tighter family member. Stop talking about this as if you are signing into a contract of marriage, you are not, it is not big business, unless you are a mug. Some of you are drama queens caught up in Oliver twist, chill out, yet again a nice sentiment has been overhauled by DR1 and spun like a double headed penny.
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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My wife's godfather was the father of the Mirabal sisters. He was very supportive of her getting an education but she asked for no money and received none.
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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"DOG",you are unaware of how dominicans view the responsibilities of a "Comadre/Padre.
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minerva_feliz

New member
May 4, 2009
458
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Hang on here, when you accept to be a godparent you are not signing into a contract, you are not signing into any contract of any kind. The responsibility of a godparent is merely to be there to help out (usually in organizing a new home and not financially) should something happen to the parents, be a non direct guide in the childs life when they need some advice they maybe can't seek closer to home, be a friend and extended family or tighter family member. Stop talking about this as if you are signing into a contract of marriage, you are not, it is not big business, unless you are a mug. Some of you are drama queens caught up in Oliver twist, chill out, yet again a nice sentiment has been overhauled by DR1 and spun like a double headed penny.
Nah, I think it just means different things to different people, Dominicans and expats included. What's important is that someone know what they are comfortable with and have a clear idea of what the expectations are of the people asking them to be padrino/madrina before making a decision.

If peoples' diverse viewpoints illicit a second thought it can only be a good thing.
 

amparocorp

Bronze
Aug 11, 2002
900
86
0
i'm in upstate NY not a lot of dominicans, maybe ten including children that i know of in my little town. but, we have a ton of mexicans. my wife is always asked first to be the godmother. poor choice on their part because every extra penny she makes goes to help relatives in the DR. what is really pi$$ing me off now is that she has to buy clothes for her brothers kids and the brothers have jobs in the US making more than i do, i'm 100% disabled and rely on social security. so to keep an even balance i put as much as i can on her credit card.............
 

dv8

Gold
Sep 27, 2006
31,271
358
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sometimes you guys are strange. can't you just say "no"? a simple "no" is all it takes. they ask, you do not want to be godfather, you say "no, thanks". what's so hard?
seriously, expats are sometimes so ridiculous with this feeling of obligation towards dominicans. obligation to become a godfather or padrino, obligation to pay for the windscreen cleaning you did not ask for, obligation to pay quadruple price for cleaning the shoes you did not ask for, obligation to tip.
you don't have to, really. let go.
 

Rattus_Rattus

Bronze
Apr 3, 2004
1,564
42
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Absolutely No obligations what so ever in the RD is the best. Let all the obligations live its own life in the countries we left for the priceless tranquility of the Dominican Republic....
 

Bronxboy

Moderator - Covid19 & Mars Venus
Jul 11, 2007
14,110
590
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can't you just say "no"? a simple "no" is all it takes.
Take it from the kid!!!!!

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7cSudpyEU9w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

Givadogahome

Silver
Sep 27, 2011
4,397
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0
"DOG",you are unaware of how dominicans view the responsibilities of a "Comadre/Padre.
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This is not so. Like I said it is up to the individual to use their own mind to figure out what they are getting into. If the family do not know you well enough to know what your beliefs are, expectations are and understandings are then I say they do not know you well enough to even be asking this of you. My family know exactly where I stand on these kind of things as we discuss these things, and did before I was asked (in the case I accepted anyway), they know exactly why I accepted one request and knocked back another. The most stupid thing anyone can do is play a part to not lose face, and I've even seen expats do this on occasion (not in this instance but similar where finances are involved) purely because it is what they think is expected. You still have to be your own person, even in another culture.

The generalization some folk have is mind blowing, almost as if people really do think ALL Dominicans feel, act and believe in the same morals, and realizations of life.