A 22-year-old mother named Megan Everett is wanted on federal charges after allegedly kidnapping her 2-year-old daughter Lilly. Everett and Lilly’s father, Robert Baumann, shared custody of the little girl until May 6 when Baumann dropped Lilly off in compliance with their recently decided custody agreement. The toddler was supposed to be returned to Baumann a week later, but Everett never showed up. Instead, she wrote a note, stating, "If I let them take her and vaccinate her and brainwash her, I wouldn’t be doing what’s right. I cannot let a judge tell me how my daughter should be raised.” Baumann had reportedly planned to have his daughter receive vaccinations the next time he had custody and also planned to enroll her in preschool, which Everett was against.
As unusual as this particular situation may sound, you've got to admit: It shouldn't be a court's place to override how a mother wants to raise her child.
In general, a mother should be able to decide whether or not her child is vaccinated. Of course there are steps she may want to take, research, recommendations to take into consideration while coming to her conclusion, but when she knows where she stands, the ball should typically remain in mom's court.
After all, should the law really be allowed to intervene and disregard the mother's decision? It just seems like a slippery slope to say it's okay to strip decision-making from a mother with custody rights. Especially when it comes to something as sensitive as vaccination, about which she may have reservations related to her child's wellness or religion.
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As far as Everett's particular situation is concerned, she currently faces state kidnapping charges and a federal count of flight to avoid persecution. Lilly's father says he just wants her to come home safe. Hopefully, the two find common ground that doesn't require involvement of the state -- but does allow a mother's involvement in raising her child.
How would you feel about a judge telling you how to raise your child? Can you sympathize (at least on that level) with this mom?