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#1 of 30 Old 10-14-2010, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am still in the research phase of adoption. My DH and I plan to start the homestudy process early next year. I have researched various options and then came to realize that my dd's vaccination status (non-vaxed) may be an issue. Her vaccination status will not change. From what little I've been able to find, it seems that foster-to-adopt is pretty much off the table. It seems that some international adoption may also be difficult if not impossible. It seems that domestic infant adoption would still be possible, but it would be very dependent on the birth mother's choice (which it would be regardless of the vaccination issue).

So, I guess I am looking for any btdt advice. If I am way off base with my thoughts, please let me know. I also have concerns about what is required vaccination-wise with an adopted child. I know that can vary.

TIA for any insight.

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#2 of 30 Old 10-14-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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Neither our bioson nor our domestic newborn adopted daughter is vaccinated.

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#3 of 30 Old 10-15-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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After the adoption is finalized, the requirements are no different than your bio child's. I'm not sure I've heard about domestic private agreements that state otherwise, but I guess that's possible (anyone BTDT?).

We have an unvaxed bioson and an unvaxed adopted daughter through the state. We got her at 12 days old through my state's adoptive unit (most states don't have that). She was legally considered a foster child until finalization--which took almost a year. Because she was a SafeHaven baby, there was pretty much zero family history. My local HMN chapter pointed me to 2-3 very holistic doctors who were MDs and very unlikely to push vaxing. Sure enough, the first one told me that given her complete lack of family health history and the fact that she had no history of her own, it would be EXTREMELY negligent to vax her. I got a second one of them to agree and they documented it for the state. The state's main question was how long they planned to delay. I told them "Until she fights off an illness or until she's 2yo and hits that immune system milestone" (there's a maturity milestone at 2yo--which I knew from my immune deficient son).

They weren't happy (this was in NJ--which is home to most pharmas and the first in the country to mandate 4 add'l vaxes including flu) but with two MDs, they couldn't really argue the point.

So she had the HepB at birth before she was in our care, but she's now 2yo and never had another. We now claim our exemption and there is no requirement that she be vaxed by any other "authority" because of her status as an adopted child.

That being said, I was fortunate to have a SafeHaven baby where the parents were completely unknown to help in the argument. SafeHaven babies are a relatively rare thing.

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#4 of 30 Old 10-15-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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We practice delayed vax, and went through the homestudy process for our daughter when our son (then 9 months old) hadn't had any vaxes. It wasn't an issue. We explained ourselves as wanting to delay vaxes because of autism concerns (our oldest has autism), and that we planned on catching up on vaxes eventually. Our doctor had to sign forms saying that our children were healthy and on schedule with their vaxes, I believe. They WERE on schedule with the "schedule" we'd set with him so no problem.

ETA: we adopted our daughter from South Korea.

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#5 of 30 Old 10-15-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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You know, another option may be to give holistic vaccines. We heard about this: doctors that give doses of homeopathic or naturopathic things and then sign off on their vax schedule. We've heard about 2 doctors that do this (one in our old state and one in our new). It would be worth investigating.

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#6 of 30 Old 10-16-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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In our international program, your child's vaccination status has been a complete non-issue. We have a different agency that does our homestudy than our adoption agency because our agency is out of state. The first homestudy agency said they had to be complete vaccinated but since our program doesn't ask I called another agency that said that is a personal issue and since our country, Thailand, doesn't have any requirements than it wouldn't come to play in our homestudy. I bet you can do international and domestic but you just need to know your facts and find an open minded agency.

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#7 of 30 Old 10-16-2010, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I know of at least one local agency that is OK with non-vaxing, but there are some other things I didn't really love some other things about he agency. From the research I've done, it seems that foster-to-adopt is completely out. I actually have a part-time employee who works for a foster agency and she said she has never heard of a family being approved with a non-vaxed child, but anything is possible.

South Korea holds a special place in my heart, so it is nice to hear that it wasn't an issue there. My research continues. . .

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#8 of 30 Old 10-16-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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Do you mean you want to be able to not vax a foster/adopt child or you think if your bio kids arent vaxed you wouldnt get approved?

My older son was completely unvaxed and i had no problem getting approved to both adopt through foster care as well as foster (two separate programs where i live, in MI)...there was a simple physical form the dr needed to fill out and on that was a space for vaxes, she just wrote "none by parental choice" or some such thing. I live in a state with very liberal vax regulations so that might help too.

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#9 of 30 Old 10-16-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you mean you want to be able to not vax a foster/adopt child or you think if your bio kids arent vaxed you wouldnt get approved?
Both.

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#10 of 30 Old 10-16-2010, 10:59 PM
 
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Well, I haven't heard of anyone's bio kids being non-vaxed as an issue. It's the fost/adopt situation where it would be an issue. Until those kids are finalized, the state is their parent. And the state defers to the child's doctor. You have no say in the matter. Especially if it's a true fost-adopt situation (where the child comes to you as a foster placement and the goal is for them to be reunified where you adopting them is that backup plan if they can't go to the parents or a relative). Because in that case, they're going back to a home that is likely vaccinating (and if they're at all involved in public assistance, that's pretty hard to get around).

If it's a private or int'l adoption, that may be another story.

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#11 of 30 Old 10-17-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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I think here in MI, since kids who are being adopted are placed (or can be placed) as "adoptive placements" and not necessarily foster children (well still technically but you get to make medical/education decisions as the adoptive parent)...you could choose not to vax. Other states may work differently.

I think the key would be having a supportive doctor. The only "proof" my agency required that i was doing the "required" vaxes for my son when he was a foster baby was just that i needed the physical filled out....had the doctor been willing to promote say, a modified schedule, or delaying or whatever...as long as the doctor recommended it i dont see my agency caring one way or the other. As it was i was able to slide under the radar getting only the first "two month old shots" for him, it killed me to do it, then he had a reaction and i could not bring myself to put him through that again...and i managed to slide through. Mostly they just wanted to make sure he was being seen at some point by a doctor.

What age are you wanting to adopt? It was SO much more awful for me to take this itty bitty healthy baby who had nothing but the hep b at birth (before i got him...he came to me at three wks old) to get injected with stuff i totally didnt agree with.....than it was to take my next foster child, a big sturdy one yr old girl i'd only had for a couple of weeks and who had already had most of her shots anyway....she did fine, no reactions or anything.

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#12 of 30 Old 10-17-2010, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We had originally thought that we wanted to adopt a toddler domestically, but it seems the only way to do that is through foster-adopt. There are multiple reasons that seems like the wrong path for us. So we are basically looking at international adoption or infant domestic.

The thought of being required to vaccinate a child makes me sick to my stomach. I feel pretty strongly about vaccinations and I don't see that changing any time soon.

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#13 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 07:51 AM
 
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I would assume that children adopted from other countries would already be vaccinated before they are matched. Would that be a problem for you?
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#14 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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I would assume that children adopted from other countries would already be vaccinated before they are matched. Would that be a problem for you?
I thought the same thing. In fact, I thought there were some countries where the COUNTRY required it for adoption. Someone on this thread mentioned that Thailand wasn't one of them.

Honestly, for the same amount of money as most int'l adoptions, you could have a gestational surrogate carry your child here in the US. We looked into this after being completely annoyed with the countless different issues that came with every route of adoption. You don't even have to use your own sperm/egg. I'm not sure why more people don't consider this route since it's a much lower timeframe and roughly the same cost (sometimes lower) than int'l or private domestic adoption. Plus, you can be there for the birth and in many states, you get a pre-birth order which gives you parental rights when the cord is cut.

Given your feelings on vaxing, this may be the best possible route for you.

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#15 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Let me correct any misunderstanding. Thailand doesn't require that any children already in our home be vaccinated but they will vaccinate your child prior to you receiving them. All countries vaccinate the children before you adopt them-some more than others. Depending on the country they come from many times they want to revaccination upon arrival in the US. Ugh! Sometimes you have to have certain ones done before you can leave country with your new child.

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#16 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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The vaccine requirements for children coming into this country through adoption are not necessarily set by the home country but by the US government.

We considered delaying vaccines until our son came home from Guatemala but if we wanted to bring our son home, he had to be vaccinated and we had to provide proof to the US embassy before they would issue the visa. This was in 2005 so I don't know if that has changed at all.

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#17 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I realize that international adoption means that the kids are already vaccinated. I do know a doctor here who is somewhat non-vax friendly and he recently signed off for a baby who was adopted from Taiwan to not get more vaccines due to severe eczema.

Heatherdeg- It's funny that you brought that up. I actually had a woman offer to be a surrogate for us, but I felt like we should do a domestic infant adoption if we really want an infant. Although, I know there are more embryos available for adoption, then there are people wanting to adopt them.

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#18 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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My understanding is that the United States requires proof of immunization before admitting adopted children from abroad. No exceptions. And internationally adopted children are increasingly of older ages, and so will have had more immunizations. If this is a non-negotiable for you, you will probably have to consider a different type of adoption.

I also want to gently suggest that children coming from many sending countries are not in the same disease environment as are children in the United States. For example, in my daughter's home country, hep A is endemic. So not vaccinating for hep A in her home country is likely to have very different consequences than in the U.S or another developed country. And high-quality medical treatment is often unavailable, if, for example, she had contracted whooping cough or hep A or some other illness in her home country. This is also an important consideration if you will be bringing unvaccinated children along when you pick up your child.
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#19 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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I also want to gently suggest that children coming from many sending countries are not in the same disease environment as are children in the United States. For example, in my daughter's home country, hep A is endemic. So not vaccinating for hep A in her home country is likely to have very different consequences than in the U.S or another developed country. And high-quality medical treatment is often unavailable, if, for example, she had contracted whooping cough or hep A or some other illness in her home country. This is also an important consideration if you will be bringing unvaccinated children along when you pick up your child.
I wanted to write something along these lines but couldn't figure out how to word it. Thanks for doing it for me.
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#20 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My understanding is that the United States requires proof of immunization before admitting adopted children from abroad. No exceptions. And internationally adopted children are increasingly of older ages, and so will have had more immunizations. If this is a non-negotiable for you, you will probably have to consider a different type of adoption.

I also want to gently suggest that children coming from many sending countries are not in the same disease environment as are children in the United States. For example, in my daughter's home country, hep A is endemic. So not vaccinating for hep A in her home country is likely to have very different consequences than in the U.S or another developed country. And high-quality medical treatment is often unavailable, if, for example, she had contracted whooping cough or hep A or some other illness in her home country. This is also an important consideration if you will be bringing unvaccinated children along when you pick up your child.
Yes, I realize all of that. I of course realize that children from other countries will be vaccinated. My concern was if there were any issues with not continuing the vaccinations after the adoption.

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#21 of 30 Old 10-18-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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In the case of South Korea, no consequences at all. In fact, we weren't even required to vax during the mandatory 6 months we had to wait before making the adoption legal (in the first 6 months, with Korea programs, you're technically foster parents to your child, not adoptive parents). All medical decisions were ours, even during that period. If something major happened medically, we had to notify the agency, but regular doctors visits were our decision.

just FYI, I'm not sure that ALL Korean adoption agencies would have a lax policy about bio kids being unvaxed...the way the Korean adoption process works, there's a lot of variation in policies and requirements in every US agency AND in the main Korean orphanages (all of which partner with various US agencies and have their own requirements). You'd have to look into it. I think it also helped, as someone else mentioned, that our homestudy agency and adoption agency were separate.

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#22 of 30 Old 10-19-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Yes, I realize all of that. I of course realize that children from other countries will be vaccinated. My concern was if there were any issues with not continuing the vaccinations after the adoption.
I was just told this by our agency...

That is fine for you not to immunize your biological children and not a problem for the adoption. However, US immigration requires that all orphan immigrant children begin their immunizations within the first 30 days of being home. You will have to sign a disclosure that promises you will do that. So its not an agency specific thing, it's a requirement.

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#23 of 30 Old 10-19-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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I was just told this by our agency...

That is fine for you not to immunize your biological children and not a problem for the adoption. However, US immigration requires that all orphan immigrant children begin their immunizations within the first 30 days of being home. You will have to sign a disclosure that promises you will do that. So its not an agency specific thing, it's a requirement.

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#24 of 30 Old 10-19-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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The government may require it, but in our experience no one checks up on it.

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Here's the affidavit you have to sign. My (attorney) DH said to emphasize the fact that is says, "at the earliest time medically appropriate" in there. Soooo, if you can find a doc who says that it's not medically appropriate, you could be in the clear.

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#26 of 30 Old 10-19-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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That was our excuse...we didn't even take dd in for ANY medical exam until she had been home for many months (and with the medical care in South Korea, we knew it wasn't really needed). She was such a scared, fragile, nervous little one when she came home--there was no way we, as her new parents, were going to take her to a strange place where a strange man and woman would cause distress, examine her, or give her shots!!! "Attachment" was our excuse for avoiding tests and vaccines, but honestly--in our case it was totally true, as well. It would have been a terrifying experience to her, and a real setback to our efforts for her to trust us and relax in our family.

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#27 of 30 Old 10-21-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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we are fost adopt parents w/ unvaxed bio children and partially/delayed foster & adoptive kids. it can be done.
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#28 of 30 Old 10-22-2010, 08:57 AM
 
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The government may require it, but in our experience no one checks up on it.
Really? I can tell you that when we adopted our son from Guatemala - when we met with the US Embassy - that was one thing we absolutely had to show - his vaccine records. We never would have gotten out of the country without it.

I'd hate to have someone not give vaccines and then, when they are ready to bring their child home, be stopped.

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#29 of 30 Old 10-22-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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I think RedOakMomma was referring to this post:

Quote:
However, US immigration requires that all orphan immigrant children begin their immunizations within the first 30 days of being home. You will have to sign a disclosure that promises you will do that. So its not an agency specific thing, it's a requirement.
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#30 of 30 Old 10-22-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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Yup.

In the case of Korea, adoptive parents are not at all involved in the medical decisions made before your child leaves the country. In fact, you don't assume guardianship (in many cases) until you're in the airport and boarding the plane. Pre-travel vaccines are the decision and policy of the orphanage and agency, not parents.

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