Children and Parenting

Disputes regarding COVID-19 vaccination for children

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With COVID-19 vaccinations being made available for children, we are commonly asked about what happens if parents cannot agree whether to vaccinate their child. If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties, the issue would need to be determined by a Judge.

As with any decision made by a Judge in family law matters with regards to children, the decision has to be in the children’s best interests. In the previous case of Convington & Convington [2001] FamCAFC 52, orders were made for the child to receive all future vaccinations and anti-venom treatments as recommended by a paediatrician or treating medical professional as the Judge considered it is in the child’s best interest.

Recent cases regarding Covid-19 vaccinations have largely had the outcome of the Court permitting the child to be vaccinated where it was recommended by medical professionals.

Accordingly, if the vaccination for COVID-19 is recommended, the child in the case would receive the vaccination.

Given that the issue of vaccination is not an urgent matter, it would be appropriate for parents to participate in mediation in the first instance. If the dispute remains on foot, then the Court would need to make a determination.  As currently there is special protocol relating to COVID-19 matters, we recommend seeking legal advice before proceeding and Farrawell Family Law can assist with this.

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