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Child custody case centers on vaccination issue

Many Texas parents are concerned about the safety of childhood immunizations. Some even choose to avoid vaccinations altogether, a choice that is supported by law. An unusual child custody case recently placed a mother in the unusual position of having to choose between her deeply held beliefs and compliance with a court order. 

The mother was in court to determine child custody issues. The judge in the case awarded primary custody to the mother. However, the father raised concerns over the fact that their 9-year-old son was not up-to-date on his vaccinations. The judge, without giving the mother a chance to argue her position, ordered the mother to have her son vaccinated within a very short period of time. 

Interestingly, both parents once shared the same opinion in regard to vaccinations. When their son was an infant, they had his pediatrician spread out his vaccinations over an extended period of time. It is unclear why the father has had a change of heart on the issue, but if the court order stands, the child would have to receive as many as eight shots over a very short period of time. 

The mother, however, remains convinced that vaccinations are potentially harmful and does not want to have her son immunized. A hearing is scheduled to address the issue. If the order remains in force, this mother will have to decide between complying with the order or facing the risk of jail time. For parents in Texas who share her concerns over vaccination, this child custody case serves as a cautionary tale. 

Source:, "Oakland County Mother Faces Tough Decision: Vaccinate Your Child Or Go To Jail", Sept. 28, 2017

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