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Foster parents seek change in vaccination rule

Posted: December 31, 2012 |   Comments

PHOENIX (AP) - A group of parents barred from adopting or fostering kids in Arizona's child-welfare system because they won't vaccinate their own children are pushing for changes in state law.

Susann Van Tienderen and Gina Apilado claim the state violates its own rules by refusing to consider potential foster families whose biological children have medical exemptions from immunization rules. Both women's families want to adopt children from Arizona foster care.

Two state lawmakers - Sen. Nancy Barto and Rep. Debbie Lesko - met this month with officials from the state Department of Economic Security, which oversees foster-care licensing. They said they're drafting companion bills that would eliminate the vaccination requirement as a licensing condition to become a foster parent. The lawmakers plan to introduce the bills during the upcoming session, which begins Jan. 14.

Department of Economic Security officials said the rules are meant to protect foster children who may not be completely immunized, The Arizona Republic reported.

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