Mother in vaccination fight loses primary custody of son

Published: Oct. 12, 2017 at 8:20 AM EDT
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The Michigan mother sent to jail after refusing to comply with a court order to vaccinate her 9-year old son has more legal woes. Rebecca Bredow lost primary custody of the boy Wednesday. She will now split custody 50/50 with the child's father James Horne.

Before Bredow went to jail, she had primary custody. She was released from the Oakland County jail early Monday. She thought she would be reunited with her son, but he remained with his father. While she was in jail, Horne was granted temporary custody of their son, and the boy received four immunizations Monday.

A referee assigned to the custody case decided the boy's father should have joint custody. Judge Karen McDonald who sent Bredow to jail for not complying with her order, agreed, and approved the referee's recommendation.

The mother left mediation Wednesday devastated. "Today was supposed to be a review on vaccinations," Bredow said. "I wasn't expecting to lose primary custody today of my son. I feel a bit spun around and in shock expecting him to come home today and I'm a little upset."

Horne wanted his son to be vaccinated. Bredow says she and her ex agreed at one time to have the vaccinations, but her views on the issue has since changed. She says the vaccinations go against her religious beliefs.

Bredow also said being locked up in the Oakland County jail for five days was the worst experience of her life. "The conditions in Oakland County Jail, they're awful," Bredow said."You know, it was the worst five day of my life pretty much, you know, except for the fact that I just found out he was vaccinated and I'm not getting him back today, you know? To top that off -- it's been a rough few days."

Bredow was sentenced to seven days but was credited one day of service after serving five days, and was released on the morning of her sixth day.

Horne has had visitation with his son every other weekend and on Wednesdays, but now the two parents are to split custody 50/50. Bredow's attorney says she is devastated by the ruling and will appeal.