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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9389
Experience:  since 1983
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Is it legal for a child to be batized without parental ...

Customer Question

Is it legal for a child to be batized without parental consent, this just happended to my son who is 13 years old, and went to a camp meeting at "The Ramp" with Karen wheaton. I sent them an e-mail in regards XXXXX XXXXX disaproval to this
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Walter replied 9 years ago.


There are no legal issues with baptism's. The church is not required to notify the parents as this is seen as more as a faith issue then a legal issue. If your son consented to the baptism and was permitted to attend the camp then the church has not broken any laws.

The church is not required to have parental permission in order to baptize a child.

I am sorry, I understand this must be frustrating to you. What I would suggest is speaking with your son and asking him what happened and why he wanted to be baptized. Then discuss with him what your belief or religion is and let him know how you feel about it. Explain to him what a baptism is as well......sadly some churches do not take the time to explain what this is and just go ahead and do it. Since children tend to do what everyone else is doing they often have no real idea what this is or why it should be taken seriously.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for your prompt answer, but How is it that the this camp can freely misleed in doing something that was not on the consent form?
Expert:  Walter replied 9 years ago.


Baptisms are not looked at as any type of treatment, it is looked at as a action that says you want to be saved. No different then prayer and asking for forgivness......thus there is no need for consent from the parent. When you allowed your child to attend the church function it was with the knowledge that the word of god would be preached.

Being baptized is a personal choice......if the child wishes to become baptized he/she is really only being dunked into the water. Only the child can ask for forgiveness and thus the child is not really baptized unless he/she asked for forgiveness. The only the Church did in reality is dunk your child in water. If your child asked for forgiveness then he was the one who baptized himself.

I understand this is irritating to think that someone may have lead your child to do something you did not want him to do. Though the courts would state that this was your sons choice. Since no one forced him to become baptized there is no one to blame.

I know this is not what you want to hear, and in the same position I would not be happy either. Though in a court the judge would ask you why you sent your son to a camp that is religious if you did not want him to learn about god. It is common knowledge that the church does try and get people to ask for forgiveness and be baptized. By allowing your son to go, you gave permission for them to teach your son about religion. Your son was the one to make the choice to be baptized and as such the best thing you can do is speak with him about his actions and find out why he wanted this done.

As for holding the church responsible in court, the case would be dismissed and the church would likely be awarded a claim for legal fees.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Actually I am a Pastor of my Church, and I fully believe in Baptism, but I'd being respectful and knowing they are minors, to give the parents an awareness to this would be sutible. I thank you for your answers, and I fully Love Jesus, my son gave his life at the age of five, and I baptized him. Now, he made a desision by himself, but his decision was based more on following what others were doing so he fit in. But anyway, thank you for your time, may the Lord bless you, I just now as the head of our Church have to make a decision, not to go there any more, because they have undermind the athourity of the parents and the home Church.

God Bless you,
In Jesus Love
King Jesus Ministries
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 9 years ago.
I completely disagree. In my view the forced baptism was a battery and would be actionable as such. Children are legally incapable of making decisions. They lack the legal capacity to vote or enter contracts. They are subject to parental control and the parents have the right to have them baptized or not.
Baptizing your child without parental consent was not legal. Since it involved physically touching the child without your consent, it constitutes the tort of battery. I believe it was actionable and that you should consult an attorney in the State where this battery took place.
I am not a pastor but I am a minister and have a BA in comparative religion and a JD. IMHO this was battery.
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9389
Experience: since 1983
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