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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<span style="font-family:'Franklin Gothic Medium';">My husband and I are planning to begin the international adoption process early next year and right now I'm saving money, talking with an agency, praying about the two countries we currently have in mind (Korea and Vietnam- most likely the latter), and learning as much info as possible.<br><br><br>
My question is about vaccinations and international adoption- what should I expect? My husband, nearly 4 year old daughter, and I are vaccinated, but my 1 year old son is not. My daughter was vaxed until about the age of 2, but afterward my husband and I began learning the truth about vaxes and stopped all together. I do not want to have to vax any adopted children in the future, however, if it is absolutely required and there's no way around it at all, I am open to at least <i>some</i> shots. First of all, how do I find out if vaxes are required (FWIW, in my home state of Arkansas, there are medical, religious, and philosophical exemptions), if there are any ways to avoid doing it, etc. Also, if I absolutely MUST vax, how will this affect my bio children?<br><br><br>
TIA.</span>
 

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My understanding is that for international adoptions you will be forced to vax to get them into the US. After that you should be able to stop.<br><br>
I don't see why it would impact your bio children.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What I mean by how it might affect my bio children is if the adopted child is injected with a live virus or something of the sort- are my bio kids at risk for developing _____ disease? I suppose it's the same as when a mother is concerned for her non-vaxed child(ren) playing with a recently vaxed child.
 

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My understanding is that most children are vaxed prior to placement. In some countries (Russia, for instance), you must also agree to vax for anything required that they "missed". Check the vaccinations forum for posts re vaccne shedding. I think mostly the consensus is not to worry about it.
 

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Your child may have been vaccinated in his or her country of origin.<br><br>
You will need to sign an affidavit for Immigration in order to get permission to bring the child to the US stating that you will vaccinate. Personally, I wouldn't adopt internationally if I weren't willing to follow the law on this, but that's just me.
 

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First of all, it is my understanding that <i>some</i> homestudy agencies will ask about the vaccination status of the children currently in your home. This does seem to vary from agency to agency. We personally were asked about the vaccination status of our pets, but not about our children. If this is something that concerns you, bring it up when you're interviewing placement agencies.<br><br>
You really have no say over what type of vaccinations your intended child has until you are the child's parent. Again, if you're concerned with the effects on the children already in your home, ask the placement agency about their vaccination policy- find out which vaccines will be given, and when.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>EFmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9040768"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You will need to sign an affidavit for Immigration in order to get permission to bring the child to the US stating that you will vaccinate. Personally, I wouldn't adopt internationally if I weren't willing to follow the law on this, but that's just me.</div>
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I see this brought up frequently, but this was not our experience. We were never asked to sign any such document by our agency or by immigration or embassy officials. We brought our DS home from Ethiopia in Nov 2005, BTW.
 

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Your child will probably have been vaxed in their birth country. In Korea, they will be totally up to date on their vax and will have been given very high-quality vax (excellent medical care). I'm not sure about Vietnam...I know in some developing countries, depending on the orphanage or region, expired or improperly handled vaccinesa are given (making them near useless).<br><br>
I wouldn't worry about the effect a vaxed child will have on your children. I can't imagine that the live virus from any of their vaxes would be transmittable (unless they had one of those specific vaccines JUST before leaving). I would think even then the chances are slim at best, and you're not risking anything that you don't risk every day when your children come into contact with the general populations of vaxed children.<br><br>
In our homestudy we were asked if our cats were vaccinated, but not about our children's vaccinations. All of our children have a very delayed vax schedule (with some opted out of all together)...our SW never even asked us about it.<br><br>
We think we did have to sign a statement, from our agency I believe, saying that we would continue medical care (including vax) of our child once she becomes a part of our family. Part of that is, with Korea, we will not be her legal guardians until she's been living with us for six months. Until then, the agency is her guardian. I suspect we will selectively continue some of her vaccinations, but delay on others.
 

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Live vaccines, could, in theory, shed.<br><br>
Live vax include: MMR, chickenpox, rotavirus (unlikely they would get, newer vax) and OPV (if they're from an area that still uses OPV instead of IPV)<br><br>
OPV and rotavirus shed in fecal matter. So washing well after diaper changes is important.<br><br>
I wouldn't worry at all about shedding from MMR or chickenpox. Just as likely the kids will run into it anywhere else.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for this information. I am finding it very helpful and quite interesting- what happens if your pets aren't vaxed?<br><br><br>
"I'm sorry, ma'am, that unvaxed cat of yours poses a serious threat to any adopted child- you have failed this homestudy."<br><br><br>
hehehe I dunno, that seems so strange to me.<br><br><br>
I am definitely willing to comply with the law, but if I must vax, I will try my best to do so selectively and/or delay as long as possible. I have been in talks with a lady from the adoption agency my husband and I hope to go with, and she is very sweet and understanding, saying to me, "I really love that you feel you can share this information with me out right (my concern for vaxing) and I think it's wonderful that you're willing to do whatever it takes to raise your children in the way that you see best... like all good moms!" She herself adopted her youngest daughter from Vietnam 5 years ago. So, a good sign I think. She and I have been sending emails back and forth a LOT recently, talking about this. So far all I've gotten from her about it is the number to a couple of women in another office of the agency who know more about the vaxing issue than she does, and the fact that if my husband and I are completely unwilling to vax the adopted child (we're not), we might encounter some obstacles (although she insists that I not be discouraged).<br><br><br>
Again, thanks for the info from everyone.
 

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I guess I would add two points to consider. The first is that our kids that are coming from developing countries are in very different disease environments than the US or Canada. The odds, for example, that an unvaccinated child will be exposed to and contract measles or pertussis or polio or hepatitis are very low in the United States, but not necessarily so low in some other places in the world. Also, if your child will be living in an orphanage, they will be in a situation that places them at higher risk of contracting infectious diseases from the other children, and the available medical care is likely to be of lower quality. I think this puts vaccination prior to their arrival in the US in a somewhat different light.<br><br>
Secondly, I think the issue for your unvaccinated child is not so much virus-shedding as the travel to get your child. Depending on the country, certain vaccinations are recommended, including for diseases not regularly vaccinated for in the US such as Hep A and malaria. I would be concerned about an unvaccinated child traveling to Vietnam, for example, and it might be something to consider as you move further along in your planning.<br><br>
There are many, many threads on vaccination issues if you search this forum - good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Diane B</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9042645"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess I would add two points to consider. The first is that our kids that are coming from developing countries are in very different disease environments than the US or Canada. The odds, for example, that an unvaccinated child will be exposed to and contract measles or pertussis or polio or hepatitis are very low in the United States, but not necessarily so low in some other places in the world. Also, if your child will be living in an orphanage, they will be in a situation that places them at higher risk of contracting infectious diseases from the other children, and the available medical care is likely to be of lower quality. I think this puts vaccination prior to their arrival in the US in a somewhat different light.<br><br>
Secondly, I think the issue for your unvaccinated child is not so much virus-shedding as the travel to get your child. Depending on the country, certain vaccinations are recommended, including for diseases not regularly vaccinated for in the US such as Hep A and malaria. I would be concerned about an unvaccinated child traveling to Vietnam, for example, and it might be something to consider as you move further along in your planning.<br><br>
There are many, many threads on vaccination issues if you search this forum - good luck!</div>
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I have considered your first point and am learning more about that all the time. I can see certain vaxes being important, although not necessarily each and every one availiable (which my husband and I would, if possible, like to avoid). And about the second point- my children would most likely not be traveling internationally with my husband and I, but, instead, staying with family members. Although Vietnam (which my husband and I are leaning more toward) does not require vaxes (from what I have read so far) we still will not be bringing the children along for multiple reasons.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>EFmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9041088"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Was your son over 10 when he was adopted, by any chance? The waiver applies to children under 10.</div>
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Nope, he was a few weeks away from his 5th birthday.<br><br>
I don't know- I've heard other say that they weren't asked to sign anything either. Perhaps it depends on the particular embassy? My name was the one on the original immigration form, so I was the one who signed everything at the embassy and when we came in through customs when we entered the US. And truly, I didn't sign any paper that mentioned vaccinations.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Hiker_Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9042460"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you all for this information. I am finding it very helpful and quite interesting- what happens if your pets aren't vaxed?</div>
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shhhhh.... promise not to tell?<br><br>
In our original homestudy application, it asked if our pets were current on their vaccinations. Since our cat has received all of the vaxes I want him to have, I checked the 'yes' box. They never asked for proof of vaccination, and the issue was never brought up in any of our homestudy interviews....
 

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annethcz, for us the promise-to-vax info for Immigration was buried somewhere in the forms for the I600, which is the petition for visa application I believe. It was buried in the fine print. TBH, I didn't even remember reading it (and I know I read those forms at least 5-6 times) until someone told me, and I checked and sure enough, it was there. We did our paperwork in Fall 2005.<br><br>
FWIW, the Immigration form did not require you to agree to every single vax on the US schedule, only certain ones like MMR and polio. It also did not give a timeline, per se, just something about giving them when medically appropriate for children under age 10 when they emigrate This gave me the moral out for the delayed/selective schedule that I already had planned, as I could make it fit within the framework they required.
 

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Actually, not only did our homestudy not ask about pet vaccination, but because the custom of keeping pets is so strange to Guatemalans, our dog and cat were completely omitted from the homestudy, and we were asked not to include them in any photos we sent!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Diane B</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9055600"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Actually, not only did our homestudy not ask about pet vaccination, but because the custom of keeping pets is so strange to Guatemalans, our dog and cat were completely omitted from the homestudy, and we were asked not to include them in any photos we sent!</div>
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It was the same for us! And I think for they told us for China they are going to require us to follow-up vax. We have to do post placement reports at 3, 6 & 12 mos for China......
 

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We were asked about vaxxing our pets. Our cats were supposed to be rabies vaccinated even though it is not required in our county. One of our cats was very old, and the vet said we should not vax him so we told the social worker, it was no problem. He did not live to see dd join our family anyway. However, I don't think the pet vax requirement was part of China's requirements, but of our state's.
 

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Hi,<br>
I had to post because we just went through the same thing. My DS was not vaccinated for anything. We just got our DD from Colombia (yeah!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ). She was given the live polio virus vax (boo <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ). We actually saw it happen, and, unfortunately, could not say we did not want her to get it. Anyway, I had researched all of this before we left for Colombia. The only recent cases of polio in Minnesota, where we live, were transmitted from someone who had the live virus vax to children who were not vaccinated! Crazy and sad. Long long story short, we did give DS the polio vax before we left. It was hard to do but the beauty of selective vaccination, as opposed to forced cocktails, is that when the risk is there (for the disease, I mean) you can protect yourselves and your children. We also gave DS the hep B vax.<br>
So, while it is hard to do the shots, when you are opposed to it, there are some times when it can benefit. Maybe the risk was small but it was still greater than if we had not adopted. My sister just had a baby and we will not be getting together until we are certain my DD is no longer shedding the virus. She did have her two older daughters get the polio vax though.<br>
I hope this helps. Good luck and I would love to hear what you decide.
 
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