Thursday, July 27, 2017

Court Interprets Vaccination Provision In Custody Decree

In In Re the Paternity of: G.G.B.W., (IN App., July 26, 2017), an Indiana appeals court held that the mother of a minor child should be held in contempt of a custody decree when she refused for religious reasons to have the child vaccinated.  A decree consented to by the mother and father of the child provided:
If the child attends a school that requires vaccinations for enrollment, and the child will be denied enrollment unless she receives the vaccinations, then the child will be given the required vaccinations for enrollment.
The court held that this requires the child be vaccinated upon enrollment in a school that requires its students to be vaccinated, even when a religious exemption from the vaccination requirement was available under Indiana statutes, saying:
If the parties intended the religious objection exemption to apply, they most likely would not have included the vaccination provision in the agreement at all, because a religious objection would always trump a school’s vaccination requirement and the provision would be meaningless.
The father was particularly concerned because of the danger that would be posed to his twin infant children if they were around the older child who was not vaccinated. Indiana Lawyer reports on the decision.