I have 2 girls 2yrs and 3 yrs old (nearly 4) they haven't had all their vax's. My 3 yr old has gotten most of them and my 2 yr old has only gotten 3 vax's. The big problem is CPS got involved for a completely different matter (cleanliness and abuse). We are low income and live in subsidized housing and a 'counselor' got mad that didn't want to meet with her which isn't even required made a report to CPS. The first worker asked if their vax's were up to date and I said no he asked why and I explained then he said I would have to show research with scientific evidence for why I don't vax?! Now the services (I think thats what they called her) worker not the case worker, has brought up court twice for medical neglect for not vaxing. My 2 yr old is supposed to get the pneumococcal (sp?) vaccine but I've been wondering if I even want her to get that now since I've done more reading about them. I've also been thinking about stopping vax's altogether since I've been reading more about them. I live in California and I know it has the philosophical exemption but I've heard CPS will sometimes try to take them anyways even if its for a short time. What can we do?
Vaccines cannot be forced on you and not vaccinating does not make for medical neglect. You do not have to show proof or evidence. It is your child, your choice. I do not know about your other stuff though that you mentioned, if they are investigating for abuse and such I would strongly recommend a lawyer, because if they see other reason for medical neglect they will remove the children promptly. To properly evaluate your situation you should be honest and post every detail they have on you. But on the sole grounds of not vaccinating CPS will not be able to take your children, nor can they force you. CA has philo and reli exemptions, which is enough proof for the worker that vaccinating is solely the parent's choice.
First, let me start off by saying every CPS case is different, involving different areas and jurisdictions. Any advice you recieve online is not legal advice, but only other people's personal experiences or ideas of what CPS is like.
I'm in a different state from you, but I have had an open CPS case over neglect and cleanliness. In my case, untreated depression was the root cause. CPS gave me the resources I needed to get on medication and in therapy, and the case was closed after a year. Issues of parenting style, such as vaccines or family bed, etc, didn't come up. I'm curious as to why they asked if your kids are vaccinated if they opened a case for an entirely different reason.
Since your kids are partially vaccinated, it sounds like they have seen a pediatrician regularly. This can be your biggest defense. Bring in all medical records you have and say, "As you can see, we discussed vaccinations with Dr. ___ on these dates (point out any time you vaccinated your kids or there is documentation of a decision not to having been discussed with the doctor). We have been monitoring our children's growth rates. On this date and on this one we discussed appropriate nutrition and eating habits, you can see here that we went to the doctor for a sick visit over thus and such symptoms..." and whatever else has come up during doctor's visits. You don't have to say whether you and the doctor see eye to eye on everything. But their case for medical neglect is lessened if you can prove that you have been getting regular medical care for your children.
Records show that you have been working with the medical community in your daughters' care, not that you are somehow being contrary to all medical advice and your chidren are suffering. If you have a legal right to a philosophical waiver, what is their basis to override your decision? You said you had "heard" they try to take them away. Have they directly said this to you? It sound like they are threatening a court case, and that makes more sense. If you are a legal guardian and have made a legal decision, they would need to prove you mentally incompetent to make decisions or work toward taking your parenting rights away before they can force the issue. But this is where your prior and current medical records come in.
Also, go to your public health department and actually sign a waiver and put it with the rest of their medical records. You may not need it yet for school or daycare, but it is an appropriate legal step when not vaccinating because it shows that you haven't just "forgotten" to keep your kids updated.
Thank you both and I do understand this isn't legal advice. Abuse doesn't seem to be a concern at least they haven't asked about it. They are saying neglect though and cleanliness. When the first worker came he asked if their vaccinations were up to date I answered no and he was surprised and asked why and I told him, He said I would need to provide scientific research for why I have chosen not to get them all. One thing that has confused me about the exemption is since I have chosen to get some vaccines can I still claim the exemption? They also added for us to get tested for drugs even though there was no reason to believe we were on anything the test came back neg. now they want us to go to counseling. They also have now opened a court case and I don't really understand why, the case worker said we're doing good and we seem to care very much about our kids and our kids doctor said we're doing really good and told them that.
They told us the lawyers would call us and that everyone would have a separate lawyer (myself, husband and kids) we don't know who the lawyers are do we have to wait for them to contact us?
We went through this with my sister. The separate lawyer thing is standard. The reality is that parents are often charged with different sets of crimes. The kids get their own to be sure their rights are being considered as well.
If the lawyers don't call you early next week, I'd call and get their info. They should have at least given you their names.
Do you have supportive family or at least family you can trust who can temporarily take your kids if it becomes necessary? They normally need to be in the same state. While I'm sure the rules vary by state, when we went through this with my sister, we had to have clean criminal backgrounds, be able to show are own children were well cared for (around here they don't care about vax or at least that's what they told us), pass a home inspection (safety, cleanliness, adequate space and food in the fridge), fill out a very lengthy and invasive questionnaire, and not have a CPS history ourselves. I think in some cases they do drug testing too (I was surprised they didn't bring that up in for us since a contributing factor in my sister's case was drug use).
Mama to DS (6/07) , DD (6/09) , and DD (07/12) ..
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