Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reader Question - Vaccinations for Bios?

I just received a question from a new reader and hopeful new foster parent, and I wanted to ask all of you.  Not having other children in my home, I'm not really familiar with the requirements.

Question posted with permission from new reader, Shelly:

"I have run into a snag and I'm looking for some input.  My husband and I have 9 children, 4 are grown and have moved out.  We currently have 5 at home, their ages range from 4-12.  Three of my 5 have neuro deficits such as bipolar, aspergers, adhd, sensory processing disorder and tourettes.  All three of them rec'd the recommended vaccinations.  My last two are vaccine free and have NO neuro problems whatsoever.  My husband and I made this choice years ago and are happy with it.

My husband and I decided to pursue fostering and have put much thought into the decision.  We recently started our classes and are excited for this journey.  In reviewing the packet, I found that all children (bio and otherwise) are required to be fully vaccinated.  I phoned the licensing specialist and she told me it is required and there is no waiver allowed; it is a deal breaker.  I'm in knots over this and quite frankly, I'm not sure what to do.  I could of course, have my children start the vaccination schedule, but I'm worried sick they will be affected.  Have you encountered this with other parent that you connect with?"

I know Shelly would welcome any advice or input!


Acceptance with Joy said...

OH MY!! WE SIGNED A WAVER. You could find out if there is another agency, or another foster program inyour area.

Mie said...

The answer to this question depends on what state you live in and what the legal requirements are by the state. In TX we have minimum standards (and I'm guessing other states do to) that define what is required by the state. What you'll find is that private agencies will typically have stricter licensing standards and various agencies have a variety of additional standards and degrees of comfort with waivers.

I recommend you find out if the requirement is of the agency or by law through the state...even if it is a law from the state you may be able to get a waiver, especially with a doctor's note. If you find it's an agency thing then you just need to find another agency...we have a ton to choose from around here but I'm not sure what your options are where you live.

Jess said...

Here in AZ, it is a state requirement, however, you can apply for an exception, particularly if it is for religious reasons. It's the same kind of exception you would apply for the enroll your kids in school (which also require current immunizations). I would think all states would have some kind of exception to the rule, particularly for religious reasons as it could be seen as discriminatory. The reality is the child at risk in this situation is the non vaccinated child, so the state should not really have anything to say about a bio parents choice to vaccinate or not. There is no such exception (at least not in AZ) for foster children, however. She will be required to keep all of her foster placements current on shots.

shellyx6 said...

Thank you for your responses. Jess, I do live in AZ. I am going through an agency I currently work for, AZCA. The woman I spoke with told me it is a state requirement that came into play about two years ago. I have to say, I was pretty deflated yesterday after speaking to her.
I'm so happy to have found this blog!!!!

MamaFoster said...

Shelly, do not immunize your kids over this. Seriously, it is not worth risking their health. You are their mom, YOU are supposed to protect them. My son is not immunized and at first I thought we 'had' to too...but then I looked at the paper work and their was nothing that was specific to it so I never brought it up and have been licensed and re-licensed several times over. Look for another agency or just dont do it. Your kids have to come first.

shellyx6 said...

Unfortunately, it's a state requirement. We had our class tonight and I asked again, using the "friend" reference. ugh. :/ I'll have to think of something creative ;)

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