Why would an 11-year-old be denied baptism for two years?

My husband and I have recently adopted an 11-year-old. She was not raised in the Church, although we go as a family weekly. I inquired about getting her baptized, but I was told that she would have to go through two years of classes before they would even baptize her. Why the delay? If Catholics teach that baptism is necessary for salvation, and we baptize babies for this very reason, then why would they allow her to be in jeopardy that way? I know she needs the classes for Communion and confession, but why for baptism? Isn’t that a sacrament recognized by most Christian churches? I was just wondering what you thought. :shrug:

At 11, your daughter is above the age of reason and so must freely choose baptism for herself. Preparation for baptism and assessment to assure that she truly wants baptism is appropriate. But a two-year delay seems excessive. (Even many adults in RCIA often complete RCIA in one academic year.) I recommend assuring your pastor that you understand that some preparation is appropriate, and that your daughter will continue religious formation after baptism for the other sacraments, but that you feel a two-year wait for baptism is unnecessary. If he will not reconsider, call the diocese. If you continue to need assistance, I recommend contacting the St. Joseph Foundation, a Catholic apostolate that specializes in matters of canon law.

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.