Australia: Family law experts highlight rise in COVID-19 vaccination disagreements

The ABC reports..

A Gold Coast woman says she has reached “a stalemate” with her ex-husband who will not agree to allow their two boys, aged six and nine, to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Anna (not her real name) and her children have now contracted COVID on the same week they could have been lining up with other children to get the jab.

While they are over the worst of it, Anna remains worried if another variant comes along.

She is one of many parents family law experts say are having difficulties coming to an agreement with the other parent.

Children as young as five can now receive a COVID vaccination, and the Queensland Health Minister says more than 39,000 young people are booked in at state clinics.

Gold Coast family lawyer Julann Tiernan said she had seen an increase in separated parents, who could not agree on the issue, seeking legal advice.

Ms Tiernan urged parents to shelter their kids from disputes, and said children rarely had a legal say in what happened under “parental responsibility”.

Navigating a ‘hard no’

Gold Coast mum Anna said she would have been “the first in line” to get her children vaccinated.

“[Their father] feels he’s very informed in all the reasons not to vaccinate. He is not getting himself vaccinated and doesn’t believe the kids should be vaccinated,” she said.

“All I want to do is protect my kids, and the fact that we have a vaccine for our kids is great, but we are at a stalemate.”