Montreal man Dean Harper was looking for his daughter for 16 years. According to him, the social workers in her foster care system knew he was out there and never reached out after his daughter was taken into their care. When he did track her down, he was hit with a $7,800 “parental contributions” bill.
“I don’t understand how they could have my daughter, know how I am, not look for me, then send me a bill once I find her,” Harper told a local news station. “I was very upset because they had my name on file. They knew who I was.”
When Harper and his girlfriend broke up, she took his infant daughter Athena Glusing without giving him any information about where they were going. “She moved and I couldn’t find her anymore,” said Harper. “I just didn’t know where she was and I searched for 16 years.”
He searched for years before he was able to find her after spotting her in a video on social media. After sleuthing and picking up clues Harper was able to verify that Athena Glusing was indeed his long-lost daughter and made contact with her. Both Harper and Glusing were thrilled to find each other and finally become a family, however, the reunion wasn’t an entirely happy one. The Batshaw Youth and Family Centres sent Harper a bill for her time with them once the two were reunited.
Harper said he plans to contest the fees and may sue Batshaw for failing to contact him concerning his daughter.
Batshaw Youth and Family Centres refused to be interviewed, but released an statement saying “In all situations, social workers make regular attempts to locate parents in the province of Quebec, across Canada, and any other countries, even in prisons,” spokesperson Claire Roy said. “These efforts are always based on the children’s needs.”