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New York State NY Religious Exemption: Seeking Help

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I am in upstate New York, not LI or the city. I am trying to write our religious exemption, but I do not know what to write, or possibly even more important, what not to write. I'm a little desperate for help. Does anyone have experience with this in NY? Thank you so, so much!

My best, SB

post #2 of 14

If you can afford it, I recommend getting help from an attorney, because vaccine exemptions in New York can be very tricky.


I found this one from an internet search. I have no experience with this law office.


post #3 of 14

Before you contact a lawyer you need to contact Gary Krasner.  He runs a group in NY called CFIC - Coalition for Informed Choice and he helps people in NY state obtain religious waviers for school.  Here's his info:


Gary Krasner, Director
Coalition For Informed Choice
188-34 87th Drive, suite 4B
Holliswood, NY 11423
Good luck!
post #4 of 14

New York exemptions can be tricky because school officials may challenge the sincerity of your request for a recommendation.  If your reasons for seeking the exemption are bona fide religious, then you should not have a problem.  Just write a request for an exemption explaining why your religious beliefs forbid immunization. 


If you have health concerns about vaccines, make sure you talk to your doctor before getting the exemption because you are leaving your child open to contracting potentially dangerous diseases by not vaccinating.   


I would try to get help from a not-for-profit organization like the National Vaccine Information Center first.  If you aren't satisfied, then go to the attorney because an attorney can be expensive and unnecessary.  An attorney charged a relative of mine $500 for a letter that she could have written herself.  I found this to be unscrupulous because the relative lived in New Jersey were an exemption-seeker never has to prove the sincerity of her religious beliefs - she just has to write a letter stating that her religious beliefs contradict vaccination.

post #5 of 14

Just PMed you.


post #6 of 14


Originally Posted by mporeda View Post

If your reasons for seeking the exemption are bona fide religious, then you should not have a problem.

This is not necessarily true.




Originally Posted by mporeda View Post

If you have health concerns about vaccines, make sure you talk to your doctor before getting the exemption 

No, do not do that if you are in New York. School officials cannot force you to share medical records, but you can offer to share them to help your case if they deny the exemption and interrogate you. If you've only mentioned religious reasons to your pediatrician, that would help your case. It would not help to have anything written in the chart regarding your health concerns of vaccines.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you all, for your input. I truly appreciate all of your thoughts and efforts to help me. Especially thank you to those who have PM'ed me with additional info! I am trying to put together my letter now, but additional information is really helpful. I am such a wreck over this. I am sending an email to Gary Krasner that healthgirl mentioned above, and hope to have more info soon. I have one already, but would anyone else be willing to share their letter with me so I have more examples of what has been accepted, so that I am more likely to be accepted as well? 


Thank you again!


post #8 of 14

Hi, I am new to this site looking for advice too. I live in Upstate NY - just moved here a year ago. I am a first time mom to a 9 month old boy and we need to write an exemption as well. I was also interested in finding more moms in the area who share similar beliefs on this subject. I am usually a pretty confident person who has no problem standing up for my beliefs, but because of the hush-hushness of this topic in NY, I feel lost and alone when it comes to this matter. :(


I welcome any advice and would love to connect with Upstate NY moms who are not vaccinating.



post #9 of 14

I live in upstate NY (Central Adks) and got a religous exemption for for my son when he started kindergarten (he's in 8th grade now) I also now have 2 other kids in school. It was not difficult at all, and when my other kids started school,I didn't even have to meet with anyone, just copied all the previous paperwork and changed the names.

Just sharing to let you know that its not always a big fight. I did make sure I crossed my T's and dotted my i's, and I did consult with an attorney before hand, but it wasn't a bad or difficult experience at all. I did post my statement of religous beliefs on here somewhere.. don't know if they're still here or not..

post #10 of 14

I realize this thread is a few months old but wanted to know how it worked out.  I'm just beginning to look into the exemption and would love to know how it went for others who have been through it.  Does anyone know if it is more or less difficult to get the exemption for child care?  My daughter is 14 months and I need to return to work so I would need to find child care for her.  I'm in the Cazenovia area.

post #11 of 14

I think it totally depends on the daycare center and district.  My friend just turned in the generic form to her daycare without issue.  We didn't have problems with public school at all.  I will say that most folks I've known to be denied with in the NYC area.


post #12 of 14

Hi Everyone,

This is coming in very late as it is 2013 but PLEASE help if u can!! I have a 9yr old child in 3rd grade and I'm trying to go home to Buffalo(Lancaster,West Seneca area) from Florida. I have a Religious Exemtion here and have no idea how to get one up there. I am a Christian but I am really not religious. I am a single mom and really have no support on this,family thinks I should vaccinate. My child has not had vaccinations and it is quite easy to get a Relig.Ex. in Fla. Basically you just go to the Health Deaprtment and ask for one. I do not know how to begin to write a letter for the purpose to get into school. Has or does anyone out there live in those areas and received an approval for school? I am so scared to move as I just can't ever vaccinate her and really want to come home. Thanks in advance

post #13 of 14
I am in the same situation. I live in WA where it is simple to do this. I hate to move if I am forced to vaccinate.
post #14 of 14

I know you posted this a few weeks ago but from what i have gathered NYC is more harsh or harder to get any exemptions. I also Live in the buffalo area and only two weeks ago registered my twins for kindergarten. I have been very nervous because of the stigmas and opinions on not vaccinating but i brought it up at registration and they told me to talk to the school nurse. She gave me two "Request For Religious Exemtion To Immunization Form" and told me to fill it out and return them. I am in the process of finding the right words and what to say but the nurse also told me she doesnt even get the flu shot! i was a bit surprised but pleased to hear that. as i said i havent handed in my forms yet and i shouldnt be jumping ahead or jinxing myself. But im in total confidence that if you make the effort and time in this area to request and fill out the exemtion form the district wont take their time to fight it. I suppose every district is different as well as every person who reviews the letters, and again i dont want to jump ahead but i am more confident now then i was before i asked about what i needed to do in order to explain my choice as a parent to not vaccinate. Good luck and hopefully its the same in West Seneca/Lancaster Whatever school you are dealing with :)

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