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SA Immunising Daughter Against Mother's Will?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by jwnicholls, 27 June 2015.

  1. jwnicholls

    jwnicholls Member

    27 June 2015
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    Hello, could someone please help me with the following issue. My partner and her ex have a little girl who lives with her mother and myself (100%) of the time with a night at her dad's maybe once a month. When she was born they agreed not to immunise (immunisation) as both were against it. She is now 3 1/2 years old and the father wants to immunise her as his new partner wants it done. Her mother is still very against it and now the father is saying he is going to go and get it done when he has her over anyway. How do we stop this prior to it happening?

    Are there legal repercussions under family law for him doing this?

    Thank you to any one who can help with this question.
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
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    This is sort of a grey area.

    Basically, unless there are parenting orders in place that state the mother has sole parental responsibility for the child or that there is an injunction on immunisations, the father is within capacity to have the child immunised.

    The court, of course, frowns on parents who make unilateral decisions about the child's health needs, but if, for example, the mother decided to stop the child from seeing the father, the court would probably consider that a more serious issue.

    However, family law has no effect on parties unless one or both of the parties can't reach agreement and as a result, ask the court to determine the issue for them. Where the parties can't reach agreement, the court would decide the issue based solely on what's in the best interests of the child.

    In short, the court would have to ask - is it in the child's best interests to be immunised or not immunised?

    To commence proceedings seeking an injunction against immunisations, the mother and father would first need to attend a family dispute resolution conference to try and reach agreement about the issue. Relationships Australia and Legal Aid both offer this service, and it is a mandatory pre-procedure step. If this fails, the mediator will issue a s60i certificate, enabling the parties to file an initiating application for parenting orders through the court. You can request urgent interim orders to try and have an injunction imposed as soon as possible against the immunisations, but it's impossible to predict how the court would rule on that matter.

    I hope this helps.
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