Parenting & the COVID-19 Vaccine

Family law lawyers have seen a myriad of new parenting cases related to the decision to vaccinate their child(ren), which is precisely what occurred in the recent Ontario case AP v LK, 2021 ONSC 150.

The Court determined that the crux of the issue on appeal was whether the arbitrator had committed a reviewable error determining that “it was not in the best interests of the parties’ 2 children to be vaccinated”.

The arbitrator’s decision was largely based on what the he deemed to be the children’s “status quo” and expert evidence submitted by the Mother.

Ultimately, the Court set aside the Arbitration Award and granted the Father sole authority over the children’s vaccine choices, including timing and the administration of the vaccine on the basis of best interests. The Mother was ordered to not tell or suggest to the children that vaccines are untested, unsafe, ineffective, or that they are at any particular risk as a result of receiving any vaccinations.

As we continue to navigate the “new normal” in the family law context, it will be interesting to see how COVID-19 shapes the parenting landscape and their decision making authority.

For those interested, the full case can be found here: https://canlii.ca/t/jcgf7

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