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#1 of 25 Old 04-28-2009, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are in the process of being approved for foster to adopt. IF we get a child that is under 1 year old, will we be FORCED to follow the traditional vax schedules? I'm in the delay/spread out vax frame of mind with a full on distrust and dislike of the chicken pox vax. (we are looking for an age range of newborn - 3 yrs old - maintaining DS's birth order)

I know if we get an older child the vax process will already be underway and there is nothing we can do about that. But with an infant...

Thanks for any thoughts you can share on this!
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#2 of 25 Old 04-28-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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I'm sure, like everything, it varies by state, so I'd ask your caseworker. But I suspect the answer is yes, you will have to follow the traditional vax schedule.

ETA: it seems like when we licensed for fostering that was one of the necessary things... checkups and vaxing.

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#3 of 25 Old 04-28-2009, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. That's pretty much what I figured.

It wasn't really on my mind until DS got the pox (finally!) 2 weeks ago and now we're thinking about it more.

I understand the reasoning and all - was just hoping there might be a way around it for at least delaying/selective vaxing.
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#4 of 25 Old 04-28-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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Many states require proof of vaccinations on an ongoing basis and/or before finalization. I know mine does. Other people have found ways to delay vaxes. There is so much variation. Both of my kids are fully vaxed.
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#5 of 25 Old 04-28-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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My whole long story is posted in one of these vax threads, but i think the basic answer, is yes, you will have to vax, on time and according to CDC schedule. There might be some leeway if its a child you will be adopting.

When i got my baby to foster at three weeks, he just had the hep b in the hospital. I took him to his two month appt, and got the req'd vaxes, which was horrible. I never took him back, i just couldnt bear to, and at that time my agency wasnt exactly on the ball as far as paperwork so no one "caught" it. I thought i could fly under the radar all the way to finalization, but while sitting in the clerk's office to finalize, she refused to send his paperwork to the judge without an up to date medical on file (i never got a physical form filled out, because no one had told me to, so all i had was his hosp. discharge papers), in the end it worked out because i was able to get a form filled out and even though he only had one set of shots, when it was all written out it looked like more. Basically...i was lucky.

If i had to do it differently, i would get a doctor willing to delay or do a different schedule, so that my butt was basically covered. I'd probably only do this if the foster child was headed to TPR and i thought i could adopt. I have a fd right now whose plan so far is to go home (its been a month and she hasnt had a visit yet though), and her 12 month vaxes are due, and i'm going to go ahead and get them. She just doesnt really feel like "mine" in the way my other foster baby (who was headed to TPR from the beginning) did...so i'm not going to make waves.

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#6 of 25 Old 04-28-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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Well, if the child is placed with you and the primary goal is TPR/adoption with a secondary goal of RU and you are the selected adoptive home but the child is technically foster--you MIGHT be able to opt out and/or have more say. And if the child is already legally free, all the more likely.

There is a case in court here in NJ right now where a child that was placed for adoption is the subject of a lawsuit about what rights the adoptive parents have and they are claiming religious exemption for the vaxes. It's a relative placement where the bioparents relinquished and both bioparents AND adoptive/relatives are claiming religious exemption. Well, the state said "the state is the child's parent now and we say vax". In fact, they say that the vaxes are part of licensing requirements (true) and that they can't and won't renew the family's license without the vaxes. No license, no finalization.

Well, they are apparently going to try to adopt the child without the consent of the state by filing a petition to adopt separately from the case with the state (which is legal). Therefore, they wouldn't be subject to CPS' vax requirement.

As for us, we have a legally free infant with neurological complications that have led two board-licensed docs to defer vaccinating her lest they complicate her neurology any more. But she was placed with us at 12 days old and should be finalized right soon--at 6 or 7mo old. So it's not like the delays are obviously "out there" and really, if they were delaying past a year--I wonder what would happen. As it is, I'm not sure WHAT will happen at finalization and if the judge will decide they want to override medical opinion and force the vaccinations (because with the stuff you hear being ordered, it's just insanity).

When children are placed in foster care--even fost-adopt--if the primary goal is still reunification then you have absolutely no choice. Those are foster children with a goal to go home and you are a backup plan. Best case, you can find a doc to split the shots. But the reality is that the assumption is that the child is going back to their home environment. Those environments usually have families that vax. So you're looking at delaying vaxes on a child who will go home to a family that will play catch-up all at once.

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#7 of 25 Old 04-29-2009, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the additional comments.

And, yes, the goal is adoption and our caseworker has said she won't place kids with us that are not on the path to TPR. We did say that we would consider short term emergency placements if necessary, and, if shots were required during the time we had an emergency placement, of course we would follow the standard vax schedule.
This question is intended to be specifically about a child that we (hopefully) will adopt. My biggie is that darn chicken pox vax. But I suppose, even with the vax, we could still seek out a cp party after adoption was final to help strengthen the immunity.
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#8 of 25 Old 04-29-2009, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ethan*sMom View Post
This question is intended to be specifically about a child that we (hopefully) will adopt. My biggie is that darn chicken pox vax. But I suppose, even with the vax, we could still seek out a cp party after adoption was final to help strengthen the immunity.

I didn't mean to imply that you wouldn't adopt this child--I was more looking into the child's legal status as many children are placed fost-adopt with a family that very much wants to adopt the child, but the child is not legally free and therefore what you could do might differ... kwim? In my state, a child like yours with a goal of TPR would not be considered a fost-adopt even though legally they are a foster child through the 6-month wait.

I don't think cp vax is even due until they go to school--right? And I'm not positive, but I'm wondering if it's mandatory vs. suggested. I don't know CO's rules are, but I'm in NJ and found that NONE of the peds realized there was a difference nor did the school district; but I found documentation on one of the NJ Dept. of Ed websites showing the vaxes that were mandatory to attend school and voila--it wasn't every last one on the recommended schedule.

If the goal is TPR for this child and you are the selected adoptive family and you feel strong about this, I would (very quietly) seek out counsel from your local HMN mommas about doctors and/or lawyers that might help you in this area. And if you have an adoptive agreement signed with the state, definitely find out your rights like the person in my state because yeah--it's a big deal. And if you're willing to delay vs. omit, the state may be more willing to work with you and less likely to fight about it.

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#9 of 25 Old 04-29-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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I think you might have misunderstood the OP, Heather, or else I did. I don't think they've got an identified placement. They just hope to adopt a child placed in their care.

Social workers have a pretty good idea of where a foster case might be going but they can often be wrong. Parents can start working their case plans, relatives can step in, judges can have their own opinions, etc. So, you'll be expected to get the child vaccinated. Even if the case plan changes to TPR, nothing's permanent until the TPR is granted by the judge. You might be able to get a doctor to delay but there's a good chance that the social worker will need a written explanation.

Foster kids are in the custody of the state and the state generally gets to decide what the kids need. It's something you need to be ok with if you are going to foster and/or foster/adopt. If you are approved to adopt a specific child, they might start letting you make that type of decision but you could very well have to wait until finalization.
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#10 of 25 Old 04-29-2009, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hmmmm... interesting thing to think about - recommended vs required. Thank you for that thought.
They give the first CP vax @ 12 months old and a booster sometime around the 4 - 5 yr old mark.

What do you mean by "local HMN mommas"? (HMN?) Probably something obvious, but my mind isn't working well yet today. LOL
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#11 of 25 Old 04-29-2009, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Beth - you are correct - we do not have an identified child. We don't know how old the child will be (other than 3 or younger- as I posted originally - to preserve the birth order) or anything. Hopefully we can "delay" the pox vax (dealy until she actually gets pox and then doesn't need it...LOL) but if we have to do it, we will.

Our caseworker has also told us to let people know we are going through the process to adopt in the (one in a million) chance that we might find an expectant mother that would like to place with us. We're going through a private agency and they can do foster/foster to adopt/identified adoption. But I feel like posting information (she even suggested posting it on my facebook page) starts to fall in the range of trying to 'buy' a baby. Which is not the place we want to be.
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#12 of 25 Old 04-29-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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You're right--totally misunderstood. SORRY! But regardless, you'll have an idea of what's what when you get a child based on the situation with that child at least... maybe?

HMN=Holistic Moms Network Kinda like MDC in real life.

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#13 of 25 Old 05-01-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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Here in NY you would have to keep up with all vax on schedule regardless of if the child was legally free for adoption or not. You may even have to sign something saying you will continue with those vax after adoption is finalyzed - depending on the agency from what I hear.

Maybe you could get away with going with a diff vax schedule that is slower - and look into a lot of info on ridding the body of toxins and heavy metals too.
Good luck!
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#14 of 25 Old 05-01-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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From my understanding, until TPR or adoption is complete, they (the children) are wards of the state. They reside with you, but you can't make independent legal decisions without the state or parental consent. Children in the system have to follow the vaccination schedule as required. That's my understanding, anyways
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#15 of 25 Old 05-02-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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We had to wait until after finalization on both of our foster-adopt kids, working through the systems of two different states, before we were given the opportunity to make vaccination decisions for our kids.

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Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post
There is a case in court here in NJ right now where a child that was placed for adoption is the subject of a lawsuit about what rights the adoptive parents have and they are claiming religious exemption for the vaxes. It's a relative placement where the bioparents relinquished and both bioparents AND adoptive/relatives are claiming religious exemption. Well, the state said "the state is the child's parent now and we say vax". In fact, they say that the vaxes are part of licensing requirements (true) and that they can't and won't renew the family's license without the vaxes. No license, no finalization.

Well, they are apparently going to try to adopt the child without the consent of the state by filing a petition to adopt separately from the case with the state (which is legal). Therefore, they wouldn't be subject to CPS' vax requirement.
Aside from a complete and utterly religious exemption, it is really, really hard for me to imagine being that attached to the ideal of not vaccinating...that I would actually risk losing my kid by trying to adopt a ward of the state without the state's consent. But that is only because I've spent too much time on the foster-adopt roller coaster.

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When children are placed in foster care--even fost-adopt--if the primary goal is still reunification then you have absolutely no choice
Yes, the state is the child's guardian.

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Maybe you could get away with going with a diff vax schedule that is slower - and look into a lot of info on ridding the body of toxins and heavy metals too.
Good luck!
Some things, however, like chelation, I would say could be harder on the body ultimately than the vaccines. Be careful.

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#16 of 25 Old 05-02-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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Aside from a complete and utterly religious exemption, it is really, really hard for me to imagine being that attached to the ideal of not vaccinating...that I would actually risk losing my kid by trying to adopt a ward of the state without the state's consent. But that is only because I've spent too much time on the foster-adopt roller coaster.
The case in question is a relative placement and I know the lawyer--not the family. The birthparents AND adoptive have religious exemption, so there must be something to it (I didn't ask the lawyer).

And truly, while they're pushing it in the court, I have no idea if they WOULDN'T vax if it came to losing the child. Fighting it in court doesn't really equate to "willing to give up the child over it"... kwim?

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#17 of 25 Old 05-02-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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I haven't had the chance to read all your responses, but wanted to chime in. I have a foster daughter who has been with us since she was 4 weeks old; she's now 10 mos old. I didn't want to vax her, but the state is technically her legal guardian and has the final say...so vax we do. I'm struggling right now, because we *may* be going to term trial the month after she turns 1. I would love to *delay* her 1 year shots to see if we can skate by unnoticed once we hit the adoption stage, but I'm not willing to take that chance. Everything we do will come under a microscope once we hit adoption/finalization, and the cost of losing her because they feel I've "neglected" her is too great. I say my prayers to God before each vax and count my blessings that she's made it this far okay. I guess it's obvious I'm anti-vax...

Anyways, my experience at our last well-baby really opened my eyes. I had them delay one of the hep shots until her next visit, since it wasn't *required* yet, just that she was "able" to get it at that point. Once I said, "No, let's wait," they charted, "Mom refused." I was ticked and realized that all these things can eventually be gathered and used against me. If I had the chance, I would find a more vax-lib doctor around here to take her to. Unfortunately, our doc who is vax-lib doesn't take medicaid so she can't see him. We're in a very rural and thus very vax-pushy area of our state.

Bottom-line: you really have no say in the care of your foster baby, should you get one. You just do the work that they tell you to do....and vax away.

 

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#18 of 25 Old 05-02-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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And truly, while they're pushing it in the court, I have no idea if they WOULDN'T vax if it came to losing the child. Fighting it in court doesn't really equate to "willing to give up the child over it"... kwim?
That probably did come off as harsh.

When my ds was still in foster care, a decision was made about his care that was not at all in his best interest, and we actually looked into fighting for his interests in a court. We weren't party to the case, of course, as foster parents, so we really had no rights. But the birthfamily was supportive, and we thought perhaps together...

In the end, though, we left it up to the birthfamily whether to fight it. We felt that being less than cooperative with the state would in turn jeopordize the placement. The social worker can move a kid from one foster home to another (since foster parents have *no* rights) for just about any reason with the right spin to a supervisor or judge. We needed the social worker to feel we were not working against what she thought needed to happen with our kid because our relationship wasn't strong enough (this was his first social worker of two, very early on in the case) to trust that she wouldn't pull him out of our home just because we disagreed.

We were *terrified* this little innocent babe would be moved to another foster home-- disrupted from the only home he'd ever known-- for no good reason. We did whatever we had to in order to show that we could support the case plan that the social worker ultimately wrote.

So I guess my own recollection of that experience probably colors my reaction to hearing about a foster family fighting the state. There are some things, even certain religious convictions (and I consider myself VERY religious) that I would have sacrificed to protect my child.

But you are right, the case you talked about might be totally and completely different.

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I'm struggling right now, because we *may* be going to term trial the month after she turns 1. I would love to *delay* her 1 year shots to see if we can skate by unnoticed once we hit the adoption stage, but I'm not willing to take that chance.
For what it is worth, our ds' 1 year shots were delayed past the time of finalization (we finalized at 13 months). He got sick, we called the doctor (who does believe a child should still be vaccinated even when sick unless it is really bad), and honestly shared with him that he was so miserable from being sick that we wanted to wait until after he was better rather than making him get shots that would add to his misery. We rescheduled the appointment, but were unavailable for appointments until after his finalization date. I let the social worker know the situation and that ds' one year well-child was rescheduled, and told him the date so he knew for sure we had an appointment.

Quote:
Anyways, my experience at our last well-baby really opened my eyes. I had them delay one of the hep shots until her next visit, since it wasn't *required* yet, just that she was "able" to get it at that point. Once I said, "No, let's wait," they charted, "Mom refused." I was ticked and realized that all these things can eventually be gathered and used against me. If I had the chance, I would find a more vax-lib doctor around here to take her to. Unfortunately, our doc who is vax-lib doesn't take medicaid so she can't see him. We're in a very rural and thus very vax-pushy area of our state.
That stinks! On the other hand, keep in mind that medical charting is like that. When someone says they don't have any pain, the doctor doesn't usually say, "Patient reports no pain." Instead, the doctor (who is trained to chart to avoid malpractice) writes, "patient denies pain" on the chart. That's how I was trained, anyway, when I worked in the medical field.

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#19 of 25 Old 05-02-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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That stinks! On the other hand, keep in mind that medical charting is like that. When someone says they don't have any pain, the doctor doesn't usually say, "Patient reports no pain." Instead, the doctor (who is trained to chart to avoid malpractice) writes, "patient denies pain" on the chart. That's how I was trained, anyway, when I worked in the medical field.
Good point. I didn't fight with the doc or the nurse who recorded it, and I know we have a good relationship with the doc's office. So I basically trust that they believe she's well cared for (after all, they're cheering our case on from our side as we go ). But those words stung...because it was presented to me that she didn't *have* to get it, but she was *eligible* for it. And dealing with the state, I have watched some crazy things happen with simple statements...

To the OP, best of luck on your journey. It is a trying, tedious process, but it is probably one of the most rewarding things I have ever done...coming in at a tie with being a mom to my birth children.

 

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#20 of 25 Old 05-10-2009, 03:18 AM
 
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Oh man, I have been tentatively researching adoption for 2-3 years down the road and I thought I had decided on fost-adopt with a caseworker who agreed to place only TPR children. But now, I am thinking no way I could deal with having zero control that way. I don't know what I should look into now, I don't think we are rich enough for international (although that would be my first choice if I had the bucks because I think those children are sometimes in more desperate situations) and domestic with a birthmother could also be pricey (not to mention the unpredictable chance she will change her mind). Ugh.
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#21 of 25 Old 05-10-2009, 06:50 AM
 
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I wouldn't make any rash decisions based on this. For one thing, a lot of times with international adoption, you don't get control in this regard either.

Things that you think are important before you adopt are not always the things that end of being important in the end. I thought this vaccination thing was going to be a big deal to me. And yes, it was hard in a way. But honestly, looking back, it is such a small part of a very large experience.

The experience of adoption, no matter what adoption route you choose, involves a lack of control over things, often times things (unlike vaccinations) that we don't even expect not to be able to control. Would I give up my two beautiful, sweet children to go back and have that control? Never in a million years.

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#22 of 25 Old 05-10-2009, 08:45 AM
 
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I completely agree with Sierra. You really need to look at the bigger picture. And I wouldn't trade my kids for anything.
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#23 of 25 Old 05-11-2009, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I try to never make rash decisions about anything.

I certainly will not let the vax issue affect this situation - I was simply asking if there was any way around it. I got my answer - which pretty much confirmed what I already knew. As long as they are a ward of the state we have no say in that matter. So be it.
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#24 of 25 Old 05-12-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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Sorry, Ethan*sMom, the encouragement not to make a rash decision was a response to BellaRose021's post.

Glad this was helpful to you.

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#25 of 25 Old 05-12-2009, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sierra - no offense taken -- was just replying on a short time limit... had to run - hope it didn't come across as rude. ;-)
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