Well, if your'e not married to the child's father, then legally, he can take you to court for visitation, and medical say so on her behalf. Have you showed him any research at all on the issue? And people do not need to know your child's vax status, simply put, it's NONE of their business. No one can force you to do anything, unless you let them or the court orders it. It' s YOUR child, not your cousins, so your cousin gets NO say so how you raise the child. Who cares what she thinks? It's your baby, YOU are the one caring for her, providing for her.
ON the flip side, a nonvaxed baby is a happier baby, in my experience. NO need to worry over vax reactions, no sickness following vaxes, naturally building her immune system, Yes, just fill out the form, and that should be it...What state are you in ?
How involved in the father?
If you do not bring it up again, is he likely to?
The cousin has 2 pieces of power:
1. she could stir up trouble with the father
2. she could kick you out, if it is her name on the lease.
If you think either would happen, I would lie to her about your decision if it comes up. If you do not think the above will happen, you could tell her the truth. You are researching things, and at this point in time you are choosing not to have your LO vaccinated. The topic is not up for debate.
I would avoid talking about vaccination IRL or leaving vaccination books lying around the house.
I agree with Kathymuggle.
How likely is your cousin going to be a problem for you? If you anticipate alot of problems and drama, I would lie to her too. who cares? its none of her business anyway.
The father could potentially be more of an issue. How involved is he? Can he take the baby for shots without your knowledge? yes. It's not like the docs office asks to see court visitation papers. To avoid issues I would think you would have to let the docs office know that the father has no legal rights (if this is the case - if he does have visitation thats a whole other problem) and that should he call for any appointments, you are to be notified before any are offered.
As for exemptions for school - how easy it is depends on what state you are in.
If I were in your shoes, I would:
1) fill out all necessary paperwork for exemption forms and add a statement that you do NOT give permission for your LO's medical status (or vaccine status) to be discussed with anyone without your permission;
2) give only your own cell phone number, NOT your cousin's home number as contact number
3) lie if necessary to your cousin
4) do whatever is necessary (get a job, save money, etc) to move out and get your own place
5) find a both a doctor and a support group in your area
If you end up being railroaded into vaccines (and this is a very real possibility, as in some areas, children are being barred from schools, and parents, especially single mothers, are threatened with having child protection services remove their child), have plan B ready--my own plan B would involve agreeing to some vaccines, but delaying for as long as possible ("sorry, I have to cancel today's appointment, my child is ill today"), and only agreeing to one at a time, with several months in between.
Best of luck.
Michigan does not look difficult at all to get an exemption in.
Am I missing something?
Most people on this forum have exemptions for their kids, and most did not have difficulty getting one.
There are a few states that are difficult, but it does not look like Michigan is one of them.
Do you have any legal documents pertaining to the ex and custody?
Where I am an exemption will be accepted by all of the daycares and schools.
Taximom gave you good advice. I don't discuss vaccination with people, it feels safer to me.
I would say this is key. If your ex has no custody then it's not in his right to determine care nor is it essential for him to recieve such information from the doctor's office. They should have something on file stating that they are not to discuss any medical history with anyone but yourself - and since medical info is protected by HIPPA you can take legal action against anyone in the office that does share info, so they are usually pretty tight lipped anyways.