If a valid baptism took place without godparents, are godparents required to be selected after the fact?

Our son was critically ill when he was born and spent the first 10 months of his life in the NICU. For the first four months of his life it was very uncertain that he would survive.

Given the severity of his condition, we had him baptized at two weeks of age in case he didn’t make it home. This was done according to the standard form by a Catholic deacon in our son’s NICU room. Due to the urgency of having the baptism performed sooner than later, and since the hospital where our son was born was out of state, we did not select godparents. I understand that given the emergent situation, performing the baptism without godparents was proper according to Code of Canon Law CIC 872.

By God’s mercy our son became well enough to go home, and we have now been home for several weeks. My question is this: since the baptism was valid, and because obviously a person can only be baptized once, is it necessary for us to select godparents after the fact in order for the baptism to be recognized? There is some difficulty in selecting suitable godparents and I am wondering if it is required to do this after the baptism has already taken place.

The baptism is valid, a lack of Godparents would not retroactively invalidate it.

It is not absolutely required of you to select Godparents in this situation. Usually in situations like you describe the family would bring the baby to the church to have the ceremony of baptism (but without the actual baptism) take place and Godparents would be “installed” at that ceremony. However, if you choose not to do so the baptism remains valid.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.