Father can have his children vaccinated without ex-wife’s consent

It’s really not a nice idea when parents argue about whether their children should be vaccinated. It is even more unpleasant when such a vaccination dispute ends up in court. And so a family court in Lower Saxony had to decide which parent was right in this case.

The starting point was the dispute between two separated parents about a corona vaccination to be carried out for their children. According to the court, it was initially agreed to obtain the medical advice of the treating pediatrician. When the doctor then advocated vaccination against the corona virus, the mother vehemently refused to follow this recommendation.

Ultimately, this dispute ended up before the family court, the Bad Iburg district court. With the decision of January 14th, 2022, the court announced that the decision on the approval of a vaccination against the corona virus would be transferred to the father of the child.

Excerpt from the decision:

If a child is unable to form its own opinion about the benefits and risks of the corona vaccination due to the massive behavior of a parent aimed at creating fear and intimidation, the parent’s will, the authority to decide on the vaccination, prevails transfer to the parent advocating vaccination.

District Court Bad Iburg (with reference to § 1697a BGB)

In the justification for the decision, the court points out that the will of the child must not be ignored as a matter of principle. However, free decision-making is seen as jeopardized if a parent deliberately stirs up fears about vaccination. In addition, it is emphasized that in this case there is a clear vaccination recommendation from the Stiko for the age group of the children. However, special vaccination risks would have to be considered in individual cases.

The court refers to the applicable case law of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). According to § 1628 sentence 1 BGB, a family court may delegate decisions to one parent alone in certain cases. Therefore, if a dispute is involved, the content of which is of significant importance to the child, the court may act accordingly.

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