Anti-Vaccination Foster Mom May Lose Newborn for Refusing a Flu Shot

Ah, the vaccination debate -- will it ever end? Probably not. But what should be done about parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against something so simple as the flu? Should the state be able to take their kids away? Sometimes ... yes.

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At least when it's a foster kid.

A foster mother in Tacoma, Washington, may be forced to give back her 2-week-old baby boy, because she doesn't want to comply with the state's mandate to vaccinate the other family members for the flu.

Jamie Smith has seven foster children, including a newborn who was born on Christmas day. "Our little Christmas baby," she calls him. Although obviously affectionate toward the infant, she's willing to give him back if she's forced to give her other children flu shots.

"I've thought about that a lot," she admitted. "Unfortunately, I have to think about our kids who are in the house first and to me they're more important, their safety, than trying to fight to keep this little guy.

"I've done a lot of research on it and I don't like some of the side effects that it has," she said, citing mercury in the shots that could lead to brain damage.

More from The Stir: Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know About Vaccines?

Washington foster families have been issued a new mandate that requires flu shots for "all parents and children in foster homes with children younger than 2 years old."

Let's put aside all the studies that show how beneficial flu shots are and all the ones showing correlations of brain damage and talk about this particular case. Should the state have more say than parents when it comes to vaccinations? Absolutely not. But Jamie Smith is not this baby's mama -- she's caring for him.

I don't necessarily agree with the state law requiring flu shots for all foster families and even respect what Jamie is trying to do here. She said, "I'm hoping that we can raise enough of a voice that the state will at least give waivers or do something so the children won't be taken out of their homes."

But at the end of the day, if she doesn't want to follow the state laws for being a foster parent, then she doesn't get to be one.

Do you think foster parents should have the right to refuse vaccinations for their foster children?

 

Image via Aspocaer Paoscae/YouTube

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