This also holds true with many other faiths, and even though they don't have the 'official mechanism' of Baptism as a ritual to bind you into that faith.
And your source of reference on this assertion within the context of Buddhism is...
Having been baptized a Catholic when I was only a few weeks old, I do know that after baptism, one is considered a Catholic forever, even if they are an infant when that baptism takes place. The Catholic Church thinks of it as "Baptism of Desire", because according to them, only a fool or willfully evil person would choose to NOT be a part of the Catholic community.
Perhaps, this is what the official version of 'Baptism of Desire' is...as I recall my catechism previously...
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/a ... s2c1a1.htm
For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.
Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).
The OP has not indicated if his family or parents are formal Buddhists in the first place.
In many Asian families (assuming from his name), such are these dynamics:
a. it's a common phenomena for them to have some kind of perfunctory respect for 'Buddhism' and would not mind calling themselves 'Buddhists' because an older generation member in the family has an altar to the Buddha or Guan YIn but when pressed further, they may not really want to accept the Buddha Dharma wholesale.
The younger generation are generally taught to respect the 'family tradition' although they may not understand anything or are brought up with a distorted version of the Buddha Dharma and would probably just tag along to temples as a family trip/outing, grudgingly or willingly. Going to a Buddhist temple or holding three sticks of incense or showing up for the annual Vesak Day celebration or eating vegetarian food on the New and Full Moon Days makes one an Upasaka/Upasika?
I dunno about some people but here's what the Buddha told Jivaka...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Then Jivaka Komarabhacca went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One:
"Lord, to what extent is one a lay follower?"
"Jivaka, when one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, and has gone to the Sangha for refuge, then to that extent is one a lay follower."
b. many Asian families do mix up the propitiation pantheon of local deities, ancestors honoring and the Buddha and still call themselves 'Buddhists' without even having any affiliation/understanding with/on the Buddha Dharma. This is a result of cultural pan religious attitudes, not a bad thing in my personal view but insufficient from a serious Buddhist POV. it's just like many families call themselves Taoist but do not subscribe to actual and official Taoist teaching and practice and many end up conflating the folk religion practices with proper Taoism (and Buddhism).
c. Like my own dad, back in the years when he wasn't a committed Christian, when pressed for what to fill in the blanks on the official documentation section on religion, he would just say 'Buddhist' for the heck of it, because that's what many Chinese families in my country do. But in actual reality, he's an atheist.
Hence, I made a lighthearted post to highlight a fact that one's birth is not tied up with any religion or irreligion as opposed to biological/genetical factors like gender (even so, this too can be changed) and ethnic background. But I will concede that one is born into a religious or irreligious household.
And religions or religious communities that bind one's birth to their ideology may be creating unnecessary suffering for the person. For instance, in some countries, one's biological ethnicity is tied up with a particular religion, now what happens if that person changes to another religion? Does the person's ethnicity cease as well?
And there are actual cases that I have known where some of my Chinese friends who come from purported Buddhist households and who embrace Christianity would be threatened by their own families with expulsion and remarks like 'You are betraying your culture and family'. I was like what the
Do these people even remember that Buddhism have its roots from India?
Or how oft in the early Chinese Buddhist history in China, Buddhism is oft thought of being a barbarian's religion?
Just some thoughts...