Children of Same-Sex Couples Delayed from Baptism into LDS Church Until of Legal Age

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In a policy update, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says that children living with parents or guardians in a same-gendered marriage or cohabiting relationship cannot receive a baby blessing or be baptized.

The policy revision takes place with a new section added to Handbook 1, a guide for stake and ward leaders. The Church has not released an official statement on the policy, but Church spokesman Eric Hawkins confirmed, “Church handbooks are policy and procedural guides for lay leaders who must administer the Church in many varied circumstances throughout the world.”

A child of a same-sex couple will be allowed baptism into the Church only once of legal age and after he or she denies the practice of LGBTQ relationships.

In full detail, section 16.13 of the Handbook states:

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows:

A mission president or a stake president may request approval from the Office of the First Presidency to baptize and confirm, ordain, or recommend missionary service for a child of a parent who has lived or is living in a same-gender relationship when he is satisfied by personal interviews that both of the following requirements are met:

      1. The child accepts and is committed to live the teachings and doctrine of the Church, and specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.
      2. The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.


Another update to the Handbook defines one form of apostasy from the Church as being in a same-sex marriage, and that local leaders should take disciplinary action.

Hawkins told KUTV, “The Church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages. While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership.”

Children of same-sex couples are not the only ones that must wait until legal age to officially join the Church. A long-standing policy within the Church states that any child cannot be baptized into the Church without his or her parents’ consent.

Preach My Gospel, a missionary handbook, states, “If the candidate [for baptism] is a minor, ensure that the parents or guardians have given permission, preferably in writing, for him or her to be baptized.”

If a child’s parents practice polygamy, that child is also required to wait until legal age to join the Church. In addition, the Church does not allow a husband or wife to be baptized without the consent of his or her spouse.

Kylie is a writer at and graduate of BYU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She grew up in a Chicago suburb where she gained a passion for the Chicago Cubs. She enjoys writing and live event video production.

  • Sandra Wiley

    This requires a great deal of faith, until further explanation or knowledge is put forth.
    Perhaps his policy, as compared to story on prince of Tonga, Prince Ata, who was attempting to get baptized against his father’s will, highlights the family problems as they became evident. That provides some insight into what could go wrong, yet it also raises questions as many converts came from disapproving parents and family members. When we search further into issues of establishing values, loving gay parents yet not accepting the union in same way that the general population does, seems to be somewhat similar with other value challenges that converts face. Those comparison values of parents that we realign, once considering the Church, such as premarital sex, drinking at family gatherings, cultural based clothing, and for some.. criminal, or gang like behavior. Heard another faith discussing the concept of changing your DNA Values, (not to be confused with other gender preference changes). Guess we all need a boost of faith

  • Anonymous

    I’m grateful for a prophet and church leaders who teach God’s commandments, and do not seek “to become popular in the eyes of the world” (1 Nephi 22:23).

    I wish the church would explain the reasoning about the children, but I think a lot of it must be for the welfare of the children. Just think about it – what would happen if they handled it any other way? Also, it would cause chaos in the church I think.