Skip Nav

Thicker Than Blood: When Friends Make Better Godparents Than Family

Thicker Than Blood: When Friends Make Better Godparents Than Family

Have you named a legal guardian for your children? Few of us like to dwell on the possibility that something could happen to us and that someone else could raise our children. Many of us postpone designating custodians, and as discussions on Circle of Moms reveal, our procrastination can be especially difficult to overcome when our first choice is not a blood relative.

Unexpected Choices

Circle of Moms member Nikki J. and her husband chose their best friends because they share similar parenting styles and values, including the same priorities regarding education. She reports that while their choice "ticked off" their respective families, she stands by it: Of her husband's two brothers, one is not family minded (eternal bachelor), and the other has his hands full with five of his own children. Of the grandparents, one has severe health problems, and the other is single and works constantly.

Another member, named Constance, reports similar dismay in her family when she decided to ask her sister rather than her mother to be her child's guardian. She says she didn't fully anticipate how hurt her mother would be.


Cyndel J. says that while she's happy to designate her own parents as custodians, when they get too old for the job she will look at other options.

Sara H. gives another reason for choosing someone other than your own parents: Her parents love being grandparents, and she doesn't ever want to take that role away from them. If she were to choose them as custodians, they would have to become late-in-life parents instead.


Minimizing Hurt Feelings

A Circle of Moms member named Kelly suggests a smart way to ameliorate hurt feelings and to help ensure an ongoing connection between your kids and the blood relatives you are not entrusting with legal guardianship. She named her best friends as guardians, but was careful to arrange legal visitation rights of one weekend per month for her son's grandparents.

Another way to hedge bets is to choose family members as godparents and designate others as legal custodians. Godparents are custodians only in an honorary, informal sense. They can be special in your kids' lives without having to step into parenting roles should something happen to you.

The most important considerations, of course, are choosing someone who will make sure your children are safe, secure and loved — and who can provide a home where your hopes and dreams for them, whether educational, spiritual, or social, can be carried out. 

Who would you choose to be your child's legal custodian?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Latest Family
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds