[quote=Happy2bcatholic]My question is as follows: Are proxies allowed for godparents at baptismal ceremonies?
Yes. According to the Diocese of Rockville Centre (New York), this is the procedure:
Proxies for the godparents are acceptable when the sponsors cannot be physically present on the day of the baptism. The name of the designated sponsor is entered in the register. The name of the proxy is entered under the name of the sponsor with the remark “proxy” (source).
[quote=Happy2bcatholic]And can they be just anyone (such as my brother or sister-in-law who are not practicing their faith at all?)
Although this is not considered by the source that I found, it would seem to be prudent to choose for proxies only those capable themselves of being godparents. The question might arise, “Why not simply have the proxies be the godparents then?” And the answer would be that the parents might know of other suitable godparents with whom they are close and who have personal interest in sponsoring the child. The idea of a proxy is not to give an honorary role to beloved relatives who are unfortunately unsuitable for the actual role of godparenthood; the idea is to have a suitable stand-in for the chosen and suitable godparents who are unable to be physically present at the baptism.
Since the role of proxy is much less demanding than that of godparent, it should be relatively simple to find suitably qualified Catholics in your parish who would be more than happy to act as proxies for your child’s godparents. I suggest asking your pastor for recommendations.