Choosing Padrinos For Your Kids—Without The Family Drama

The minute I had kids I was faced with some tough decisions: Should I get a nanny, do daycare, or have abuela take care of the kids? When do I open up a 529 Plan? A biggie, however, for my familia (and for many Latin families): Who will be my bebe’s Godparents?

For some mamas, like my sister-in-law, it was not a question that a family member would be one of her son’s Godparents. But picking a family member, as I and many other Latina mothers know too well, comes with a lot of drama and chisme (gossip). Often, the problem isn’t getting a brother or sister on board, it’s telling another hermana or hermano that they didn’t make the cut. Eek!

Here are some tips to consider when making the big decision of who should be your kids padrinos while also avoiding World War Tres:

1. Spread the love across the familia
Some families choose Godparents based on religious affiliation, but then opt to have another family member (and sometimes a non-family member) be the child’s legal guardian in their will. Such was the case with Victoria Ibarra, a mother of one child in Brooklyn, New York; she chose her older sister to be her daughter’s Godmother and her sister-in-law to be the executor of her estate. 

2. Have a second baptism 
Consider appointing certain family members to be the padrinos de aqua, a traditional Hispanic spiritual baptism ceremony that is done in addition to the formal church baptism and usually involves a different set of folks to be the Godparents. New Jersey-based mom Idalia Nunez chose to include her husband’s side of the family in the spiritual baptism and her own brother and sister in the church ceremony for her three kids.

3. Get creative!
Who says you need a man and a woman to be Godparents? Or just two people, for that matter? You can have a set of women or men or three padrinos! Gloria Ramirez Castillo, of Queens, New York, chose to have two Godmothers for her daughter’s baptism. Talk to your clergy member about this option. 

Photo: Getty