Everything you need to do to baptize your baby.
Greek Orthodox parents to baptize their child must act as follows:
a. In whichever Church they perform the Sacrament, they must predetermine the day and time of its performance with the Vicar in advance.
b. At least one week before the Baptism, the parents must present the child’s original Birth Certificate to the Priest, which has been issued by the Municipality in which the child was born (usually marked “FOR BAPTISM”).
c. When the Sacrament of Baptism is performed in another Parish, the Priest must transfer the Child’s Birth Certificate to the Church where the Sacrament will be performed.
e. Priest who performs the Sacrament issues a Declaration of Baptism.
f. The Declaration of Baptism is filed within one month at the Registry Office of the Municipality where the birth of the child has been declared.
g. In case the Baptism is performed outside the Parish, the Baptism declaration is presented to the Parish of the Neofotistos, to be registered in the relevant Book and then, it is filed in the Municipality Registry.
h. A sponsor cannot be non-Orthodox or non-religious, and neither can an Orthodox who has only performed a civil Marriage.
i. Children from parents who have only celebrated a civil marriage are baptized if the Sponsor guarantees the catechism of the novice.
2. Special cases
a. In the event that the Birth Certificate already mentions a child’s name, it is not allowed to give a name different from it during Baptism or to add another one along with it.
b. In the event that, by Court Decision, one parent or guardian has the custody of the child, for the performance of the Sacrament and the naming, a Responsible Declaration of the other parent’s agreement is required or, in the case of Guardianship, that both parents agree.
c. In case of disagreement between the parents, Baptism or Naming can be done following a Court Decision.
Caution! A Judicial Decision which assigns only custody of the child, temporary or not, to one of the two parents, is not sufficient for the performance of Baptism.
d. In any case, before the baptism of a minor, the parents must present their identity card, for the agreement of their data with the Registry certificate of the child’s birth, and sign in front of the Priest for the child’s name.
In the absence of one parent, the performance of the Sacrament of Baptism is permitted only when the other parent presents a certified copy of either the Death Certificate or the relevant court decision, based on which the absent parent is expressly declared absent or excluded from parental care.
e. In the event of the absence of one parent due to a reasonable impediment (illness, emigration, etc.), the Baptism is performed only if, on behalf of the absent parent, either a certification is submitted before a notary public or a responsible declaration with the original signature considered, that he consents to the baptism of his child according to the Orthodox doctrine and with the specific name.
f. In case of separation or divorce or when the mother claims a different father from the one listed in the Registry of Birth, the written consent of the parent is definitely needed or in the case of an infringement of paternity or voluntary recognition of the child, the father identified by the Registry is taken as the father, with a newer note and correction of the Birth Certificate.
g. In the case of an unmarried mother, because she exercises parental care alone, she needs to submit a Responsible Declaration of Law 1599/86, with her original signature considered, in which she declares responsibly that she exercises exclusive parental care for the minor her child, that there is no court decision granting the right to exercise parental care also to the father of the minor child, and finally that she wishes her minor child to be baptized according to the Orthodox doctrine and to receive the specific name.
For the coming to the Orthodox Church of Heterodox and Non-Religionists
a. Heterodox or Non-religious parents submit a relevant application – Responsible Declaration, each of them separate, with the original signature considered, to the Parish of their residence in which they state that they wish their infant to be baptized.
b. In case the child’s Birth Certificate mentions a specific name or names, the same names must be given at Baptism.
In the event that, following pressure from the parents, the names are changed, a separate Responsible Declaration from each parent is required, with the original signature considered, in which each parent will state that they wish their child to be baptized according to the Orthodox doctrine and to receive the specific name.
In this case, the competent Registry Office will refer them to the corresponding Court of First Instance, for the issuance of a court decision, which will clarify which name is valid.
c. In the event that only one parent wishes Baptism, a Court Decision is required.
d. There must necessarily be an Orthodox Sponsor (Godfather) who will undertake the catechesis of the minor after baptism.
Source: Holy Archdiocese of Athens (iaath.gr)