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Adoption and delayed vaxes

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We are trying to do a domestic adoption through bethany and have run into a dilemma. Our biological child is exempt through religios beliefs. The agencies paperwork want any children in the house to be completely vaxed and you have to stay on schedule with the adopted child. I have contacted a vaccination rights lawyer, but wanted to see if anyone has these issues. if we were to be 'forced' to vaccinate the new child, I would at least like to split them up. I work with children who have permanent neurological damage due to vaccine damage, so this makes me concerned.
post #2 of 12

I sent you a PM.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you to the one Mom who responded. In a world when you feel lost and hopeless, it is nice to know that there is still light.

post #4 of 12

Personally , i might have chosen to go with an agency more respectful of my beliefs regarding the medical care i choose for my children. But if you are set on Bethany....have you asked your worker these questions? Is your doctor willing to space them out as a "medical need"...i've found most agencies just want to cover their butt, and if the *doctor* is ok with it, then they are too. I would find a requirement to vaccinate (if i were doing a domestic infant adoption) to be really irritating since i would be stopping the vaxes as soon as the adoption was final (which in most cases is six months old)...so the child would have risk of the vaccine without the "benefit" of finishing the series.


Its kind of hard for someone to really give advice though unless they specifically went through your branch of bethany since these things can be so state/agency/worker dependant. There have been several threads on here about this very thing though so maybe you can glean some helpful info from those as well! good luck!

post #5 of 12

Wow, I'm surprised that they can say anything about it once the child is adopted! My two foster to adopt kids have to be kept on schedule(unfortunately) but thankfully the older one is done with shots for quite a while and he'll be adopted before he needs anymore! With the baby I might just say he's "sick" and we'll have to delay! ;)


Hope you get something figured out!

post #6 of 12

Good luck, and please keep us posted on what the vaccination rights lawyer says.  You might want to also post about this in the vaccinations forum here on MDC.


You might consider agreeing to "necessary vaccinations," but find a doctor (family practice doctors are usually better about this than pediatricians) who will let you do a delayed/selected vaccination schedule, and who will actually report adverse reactions to vaccines, and write a medical exemption if there are any.


Your lawyer should, at the very least, be able to reword the document you sign so that there are legal loopholes (such as a delayed schedule) plus an "escape clause" mention of possible medical need to delay/refuse vaccine.


They should not be able to legally mandate a vaccine schedule for a child who has had a reaction, especially if the parent is trying to avoid such a reaction. Not saying your child will have had a reaction, but just in case...

post #7 of 12

I don't have quite the same experience, but I'll share in case it helps. We adopted through our state agency foster care. Our licensing worker didn't care about our bio kids' vax status. Some might, but I agree it's highly dependent on the individual and how they interpret things. One thing I have learned to ask because I am constantly getting different answers from people in our state agency and in the private agency subcontracted to do the adoptions, is, "Could you please show me the written policy about that?" I've found there often is not policy about any given subject. It's just one worker thinking something should be done a certain way. Sometimes when they learn it isn't actually policy, they leave you alone. I haven't had this issue about vaccinations, but about many other things. My newest adopted son had to be vaccinated while in foster care because he was a ward of the state and I didn't get to make his medical decisions. However, our pediatrician knows our family and was able to say that he should not get a couple of them yet due to his medical issues from birth. She knew full well that delaying them would get us past the adoption, at which point I am now able to make the decisions myself.

post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by my3peanuts View Post

Wow, I'm surprised that they can say anything about it once the child is adopted! My two foster to adopt kids have to be kept on schedule(unfortunately) but thankfully the older one is done with shots for quite a while and he'll be adopted before he needs anymore! With the baby I might just say he's "sick" and we'll have to delay! ;)


Hope you get something figured out!


Children generally have a live-in requirement before adoption is finalized.  During that time, the agencies have plenty to say about their care.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hey, thanks for replying everyone.


We do have the written policy about them not only getting the vaxes, but it must be on schedule or else the child can be removed from our care. Now of course, after the adoption in finalized, they do not have control. But that is still a lot of shots (including DPT) between birth and 6 months. And, I would never want to give a newborn Hep B. Never. So we are continuting the process at this point, with the paperwork, and trying to find out all of the legal details. I was told that if you do not answer the questions properly, regarding religious excemption, then they can deny your exemption. So I want to make sure I say everything accurately, before opening up my mouth. But from what I have read, you have to do a home study with any adoption and it does not matter which agency you do it through. So I figured since we are already months into it with Bethany that we might as well continue the process. But in the coming weeks, I will be calling every agency in Pittsburgh to ask their laws/regulations on shots. We also have a good friend who is a lawyer and his website says that he has done work with adoption, so I may let him into our little situation.


But we do have a pediatrician who is more than willing to let us do our own schedule. Our 2 1/2 yo does not have any. He is cool with it and just educates us and allows us to have an open forum to ask questions.


Thanks again everyone.

post #10 of 12
I see. It does sound like at least asking the question of the attorney would be a useful step.

One thing I want to add is that we all have to stand for our ideals, but in my case I felt I had to give some things up to make our adoptions a reality. My youngest son was circumcised at 19 days old, the day I went to meet him and pick him up from the hospital. The doctor said he was going to do it, I argued and the nurse said I had no choice. They even called the social worker to check. He was our first foster placement and I was so worried he'd be taken from me as it was; I didn't think I should rock the boat any more. Looking back and now that he is *my* son, I regret not taking more steps or insisting that I at least be in the room. Heck, if I had the bond with him then that I do now, I would have thrown myself on the doctor's feet and held onto his ankles like a sobbing child. If we ever have another newborn boy placed with us, I have some ideas about more things to try to prevent a circumcision. I carry some guilt about this. Then again, a lot of things happened to my son before he was in my arms -- prenatal alcohol exposure, violence. Somewhere I have to let some of it go.

I don't say any of this to say you should give up. It sounds like you have some solid next steps in mind and it's great that you're doing these. I'm just sharing in case you have to make hard decisions later.
post #11 of 12

We're in the adoption process through Bethany too. Our social worker said we just have to prove that we are following the vaccination schedule that our pediatrician recommends. We have a family doc that recommends we don't get any vaccinations for newborns  so we're following their rules to a "t"! winky.gif Our social worker said this is fine.


However, CA has a personal beliefs exemption...not sure how that differs from a religious exemption. Good luck!

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Bstanlee, Im glad that you have had that experience. I dont think our doc is going to agree, but I will ask. We have to go in there in July for my 2yos wellness visit and have them fill out all of the vax info on her..which there isnt any. But it sounds like all of this is just about how things are worded..wink, wink? That is so weird. It either is a way or it isnt a way. IDK..sounds wishy washy.


I did just read about this vaccishield. It is supposed to be nutritonal support for kids before and after vaxes to help decrease inflammation, etc. It was develpoed by a naturopath.

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