PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – Millions of younger children in the U.S. are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine and for some families it’s something the parents don’t agree on.
Attorney Karl Schefft has been practicing family law for more than three decades. Now that children ages five and up are eligible for the vaccine he believes more divorced parents will soon debate whether their children should or shouldn’t be vaccinated.
“The court will not say, ‘I think the child should have the COVID shot. The child will instead, excuse me, the court will instead say I believe that dad or mom’s position on this is best. They don’t agree and therefore I’m going to award to dad or mom the right to make these medical decisions,” Schefft said.
He says the court will consider potential harm to the child.
“At the hearing, if you can’t resolve it, you’d have to have the pediatrician ready to and willing to testify if needed. Some doctors drop out at that point. Some pediatricians don’t want to be involved with that,” he said.
Doctors say they’re starting to see more conflict over vaccinations among divorced families and it’s taking its toll on kids.
“I do think that kids should talk to parents if they have feelings about how they are feeling about their own body and health. They learn to become advocates for themselves,” Doctor Stephanie Eken said.
A therapist’s office can often be neutral ground to resolve those issues before things head to court.
“Both parents love them and are doing their best to make the best decision. It doesn’t always match up but it’s coming from a place of love and we should help them work through how to deliver that information,” Eken said.
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