A mum has asked if it is morally wrong to baptise her son just to get him into a religious school…

A mum has taken to Mumsnet to ask if it is morally wrong to baptise her son simply to get him into a local religious school. The mum says that the Catholic school in her area has a wonderful reputation, but that those who aren’t baptised have a limited chance of being accepted.

The Right Reasons

Despite her husband being baptised Catholic, the mum says that the family do not practice any religion.

“My husband was brought up Catholic but isn’t religious,” she wrote.

The mum admitted that she doesn’t feel comfortable baptising her son just to get him into a school, but that her husband seems to have no issue with it.

“We haven’t had our son baptised but my husband thinks we should now to get him into a Catholic school,” she wrote. “Am I being unreasonable to think this is morally wrong?”

Consider Other Options

Comments on the post agreed with the mum’s feelings of apprehension about baptising her son.

“I think it is morally wrong,” one forum user wrote. “I don’t think there is any good reason to have your child baptised into a religion which you don’t practice and don’t believe in.”

“Are there really no other reasonable school choices?” said another. “I think Catholic schools are fine if you are religious but can’t see the attraction if you’re not.”

Many Aussie parents face the same dilemma when choosing a school for their child, but we think it’s always worth remembering that we are so lucky to live in a country with amazing public education!

Do You Need To Be Catholic To Enrol In A Catholic School?

No. Most Catholic schools are open to all who want to share its educational goal, inspired by Christian principles. In accordance with each school’s enrolment vacancies, preference is given to students who are baptised Catholic and who live in the local parish and then to children of Catholic families from other parishes who wish to enrol. However, schools are open to all who wish to be guided in their education by the principles and teachings of Christ.

All families and their children, Catholic or non-Catholic, are invited to have a Catholic education but must be willing to participate in the religious life and culture of the school. It is a requirement of students attending Catholic schools that they participate in the learning of the K-12 Religious Education program.

Have you baptised your child just to get them into a school? Share your story in the comments!

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  • I know some people who have done this. I dont think it is something I would do.


  • I guess if they are going to be attending the school and learning about the specific religion and attending church with the school then you may as well go through the sacraments too.


  • Possibly ifwe really wanted them in that school and it was a requirement


  • I am not sure


  • There is no need to baptise your child for them to be taught at a Catholic school, so if you don’t feel happy about it, don’t do it.


  • It’s the wrong reason to baptise but I guess it doesn’t hurt the kids.


  • I wouldn’t baptise my sons just to get them into a Catholic school. As long as it’s a reputable school that should be all that matters if you don’t practice any religion. If your child gets into a Catholic school then you need to be prepared to continue their teachings at home.


  • Some people here are not posting correct info. A Catholic school certainly can restrict enrolments to those who are baptised catholic. It varies in schools, in Dioceses and depending on how many are on a waiting list. All schools with high demand for entry have to have a way to select. Some are academic, some by siblings enrolled (but not all.. I know doctors who try to get their kids onto a local Adventist school when one child is already in but have no success) Catholic school by baptism. State schools by geography.


  • I know they have different priority of acceptance for Catholic school like my son’s. 1st priority is for those with older sibling(s) already enrolled in the school.
    2nd is the local church parishioner’s family like us.
    3rd is others which we do have a lot of students from this group as well.
    There is no need to get baptized to get into Catholic school. But of course they will need families that accept the religious teaching and fine with any curriculum that includes it.

    In response to the post, if you happy for your child to practice and involve in the Christianity faith then go ahead and try to apply. Have a chat with the school during the interview and get to know if this is what you want and compare with other schools.

    I’m a Catholic and is practicing it. I see baptism as something sacred and parents of the child should know the beauty behind it. So I don’t really agree with the idea of getting a baptism just for the sake of going into Catholic school.


  • No, we baptized our son at 8 months because we wanted to. Because my hubby and I are both Catholic and felt it would be the best thing to do at the time. Whislt not churchgoers, it fits in with our beliefs and values. We did send our son to a Catholic Secondary School, but he was not an automatic entrant having sent him to a public primary school. There was a criteria we had to tick off and we were very lucky to get in. However, I do know many people who have had their kids baptized later in life, in late primary school life, to get their kids into Catholic schools. It does cause an uproar amongst the community as there is a strict criteria, and some people are flouting the laws. But, the schools are also accepting some kids that don’t follow the strict criteria.


  • Hells yes! For a good education. We are catholic anyway so will baptise our children. But you will also gain a great community and way of life.


  • Baptism is sacred. It signifies dedicating your life to follow Jesus- it’s a decision not to be taken lightly and certainly not just to get into a school.


  • I would send my children to a Catholic school, but I wouldn’t baptise them just to get in. That seems a bit insincere and dishonest.


  • I will not do that.


  • I personally wouldn’t do it. I see it if your not Christian don’t go to a faith school.


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