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|8 Out Of 10 Mums Say|
A civil birth ceremony conducted by a registrar in which parents publicly accept the responsibilities of parenthood should be a 'standard experience'.
This is one of the recommendations in A Good Childhood, a report to be launched on 5 February 2009 by the Children's Society that looks at how parents can improve their offspring's lives.
The report states: 'Traditionally in Britain the christening has performed this type of function and, at present, roughly a third of children are christened or have a birth ceremony in another religion. For children who do not get christened or experience another religious ceremony, a well designed civil ceremony would reinforce the sense of commitment of parents and their resolve to do the best for their child, through a suitable vow made in public.'
Civil naming ceremonies have been available for the last few years from most register offices and some private companies. Rachel Fry of My Baby Celebration says: 'We are finding that this type of ceremony is becoming increasingly popular with parents who do not want a religious ceremony but still want a formal celebration to welcome their baby. The parents, supporting adults (godparent equivalents) and grandparents make promises of commitment to the child which can usually be customised to create a very personal and meaningful ceremony.'
Research carried out by My Baby Celebration suggests that many parents were simply not aware of the options available to them and so they provide information for parents who want a celebration for their child, whether it be a naming ceremony, a thanksgiving or a traditional christening.
One reason could be that many register offices do not widely publicise their naming ceremonies. The Good Childhood report suggests that registrars should make these ceremonies more accessible by arranging the date with parents when they register their child's birth.
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