Navigation and service

Anniversaries and honorary godparenthood

Anniversaries

The Federal President congratulates both Germans and foreigners living in Germany on reaching their centenary as well as on their 105th and all following birthdays. He congratulates couples on their 65th, 70th and 75th wedding anniversaries.

To be able to offer his congratulations, the Federal President has to rely on the local authorities to forward information on upcoming birthdays and wedding anniversaries to the Office of the Federal President. Usually the Federal President's congratulations are delivered by the local mayor.

Honorary godparenthood

At the parents' request, the Federal President may act as godfather to a family's seventh or any subsequent child but only to one child in the family. To submit such a request, the family must have at least seven living children, including adopted children, who share one or both parents. The godchild must be German as defined by Article 116(1) of the Basic Law.

The institution of honorary godparent is primarily symbolic and not to be compared with the godparenthood assumed at a child's christening. In becoming a child's godparent, the Federal President is highlighting the state's special responsibility for the welfare of large families as well as the importance of the family and children to the community as a whole. The intention is also to focus attention on the problems of large families - finding suitable accommodation, for instance - and encourage cities and local communities to offer help and support. Another purpose is to raise the social status of families with a large number of children.

Parental requests for the Federal President to become a child's godfather must be submitted to the Office of the Federal President via the local authority. If the requirements for honorary godparenthood are met, the Federal President issues a certificate of acceptance which is presented to the parents along with a gift (currently Euro 500) by a representative of the local authority.

Since 1949 the Federal Presidents have become godfather to some 79.825 children (31.12.2016).