8 Year Old baptized but parent never signed consent form

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dillanmills
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8 Year Old baptized but parent never signed consent form

#1

Post by dillanmills »

I don't remember the exact details but over a year ago an 8 year old was baptized in our ward. The grandmother attends regularly and brings him along. The mother is a member but does not attend. For reasons unknown to myself, the previous leadership never got the consent form signed before baptizing him, only verbal consent from the mother. After the baptism, they took her the form to sign so they could create the record and she refused to sign it. It has now been over a year, he still attends regularly and considers himself a member, but we still don't have a record for him.

We have tried working with the mother to work through her concerns. It seems she has some concerns with the data sharing sections of the privacy policy stated on the form. But that might just be a cloak for other concerns - I have not talked with her myself.

I know the previous bishop has spoken with her multiple times and has tried talking to somebody in HQ about it, but I don't know the details, and we have all new leadership now so we would need to restart the process anyway I expect.

What is protocol in this case?
russellhltn
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Re: 8 Year Old baptized but parent never signed consent form

#2

Post by russellhltn »

Interesting question.

Section 38.2.6.1 states "a baptism is not valid if a membership record was not created." It then talks about how to deal with that, none of which involves getting parental permission. It may have assumed that it was given prior to the unrecorded baptism.

Ultimately, I think this is something for the bishop to take up with headquarters.
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BrianEdwards
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Re: 8 Year Old baptized but parent never signed consent form

#3

Post by BrianEdwards »

And as much as we'd like to figure out how to record the ordinance since it was performed, at this point the Bishop will likely want to fully consider the parental wishes. If the mother is truly against the baptism being recorded, then perhaps even if it was recorded, there would be subsequent issues that she would have with other aspects of Church membership. And maybe leaving the year-old baptism unrecorded, will help smooth the waters, and then at a future point when the mother is in agreement, the ordinance can be performed again. I'm not stating that is what should be done, but perhaps a consideration for the Bishop who has local keys at this point.

If it's "just" the privacy concerns, that's understandable (since there's adult members who likewise have similar concerns ;)) So If the Bishop has met with her and feels comfortable that she will permit her child to fully participate in the Church, then Church HQ should be able to help work out the details.
russellhltn
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Re: 8 Year Old baptized but parent never signed consent form

#4

Post by russellhltn »

I see two issues. First, the child thinks he's been baptized (perhaps the grandmother as well) but according to church policy, until it's recorded - he hasn't. That means he's not listed on any of the rolls and there will be no priesthood ordination the year he turns 12. I'm sure that's a disappointment, but I think it's better that he learns it sooner than later. However, I'm not sure who should break the news to him. If the ward does, than that risks a riff between him and his mother. But I wouldn't count on the mother to do it. Perhaps tell the grandmother and let her handle it.

The mother's refusal on the membership terms makes this a legal issue in my eyes. That's why I say headquarters needs to get involved to make sure this doesn't get out of control.
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