Q: Is the Rite of Election for Children Optional? It seems to say so at paragraph 281.
A: That entire Rite beginning at 281 is optional. I don’t know any diocese that has done it. It envisions that ALL the catechumens at that particular ceremony are children. Instead, dioceses invite children to the adult Rite of Election.
From that optional rite, though, I guess you could argue that election is optional for children. But the vision is that the catechumenate proceeds in stages: from inquiry to the catechumenate to election to initiation.