A couple who serve as foster parents in Canada chose to not lie about the Easter Bunny to their children, prompting the private child welfare nonprofit Children’s Aid Society (CAS) to take their foster kids away.
Now, an Ontario court has ruled their rights were violated.
Frances and Derek Baars, a Christian couple, said they were victimized when the nonprofit took the children they were caring for away after the couple refused to tell the girls that the Easter Bunny was real. The children, ages 3 and 5, were taken away from their foster home just one year after they were put in the couple's care.
Maintaining that telling the children the Easter Bunny story is real would go against their religious beliefs, the couple took the organization to court. Thankfully for the Baars, Superior Court Judge A.J. Goodman was on their side.
A couple's charter rights were violated when a children's aid society closed the pair's foster home over their refusal to tell two young girls the Easter Bunny is real, a Hamilton court has ruled: https://t.co/pL7V4GwSaw pic.twitter.com/wyp0HYAM5g— CBC Toronto (@CBCToronto) March 8, 2018
"There is sufficient evidence to assert that the Baars did, indeed, attempt to preserve the children's enjoyment of the holidays, even [if] they were not able, pursuant to their religious beliefs, to positively perpetuate the existence of the fictitious characters that are associated with those holidays," Goodman wrote in his ruling.
But despite making sure that the children would enjoy the holidays, Goodman added, it was clear that the organization removed the children from the couple’s residence just because they refused to claim the Easter Bunny was real.
"There is ample evidence to support the fact that the children were removed because the Baars refused to either tell or imply that the Easter Bunny was delivering chocolate to the Baars' home," Goodman explained. "I am more than satisfied that the society actions interfered substantially with the Baars' religious beliefs."
On Twitter, users were shocked that good foster parents would be shunned because their beliefs do not allow them to tell children that a fictional character is real.
This story is INSANE. https://t.co/FrRo6cA1Wd— Chris Selley (@cselley) March 8, 2018
A Children's Aid Society shut down a perfectly decent foster home because the parents wouldn't tell kids the fucking Easter Bunny is real.— Chris Selley (@cselley) March 8, 2018
"The action closing their foster home came after a social worker insisted that the couple tell the two young girls that the Easter Bunny is real." (Of relevance: The Easter bunny is not real). https://t.co/anEFMTLgfw— Andrew T. Walker (@andrewtwalk) March 8, 2018
The article conspicuously doesn't mention if the couple were raising their foster children with their religious beliefs, but otherwise I really can't see the harm in NOT telling the kids about the Easter Bunny if they were still going to get chocolate and such anyway. https://t.co/9nOCevaxYv— ?? Myrna ?? (@SailorSoapbox) March 8, 2018
Still not understanding the whole thing. This can’t be real that parents have their kids taken away becuse they refuse to tell the kids a lie? Something ain’t right here. https://t.co/scivOg3DM1— AlScopeTv (@alscopetv) March 8, 2018
this is so ridiculous!! CAS should focus more on kids that are not receiving the proper care and not on the Easter Bunny!! Good for the judge!! https://t.co/KxV90ExMtA— LG@Lenageeh (@Lenageeh) March 8, 2018
Now that the judge ruled in their favor, the Baars said they are hopeful that they will be able to get the process of child adoption going. After all, the ruling also forced CAS to "fully apprise" any agency inquiring about the couple's suitability. As such, they could finally fulfill their dream of becoming parents.
Who knew that such a trivial matter could be used to deny a safe home to foster children?
Hopefully, this story will help others who are also unfairly treated when seeking opportunities to serve as foster or adoptive parents.