A Christian couple says two foster children were removed from their home and their eligibility as foster parents cancelled by the Hamilton Children’s Aid Society because they refused to say the Easter Bunny was real.
Derek and Frances Baars, who lived in rural Hamilton at the time but have since moved to Calgary, filed a lawsuit against the CAS on Tuesday, alleging a child support worker insisted the couple proactively tell two girls in their care, aged three and four, the Easter Bunny was genuine, despite the couple’s belief that lying is wrong.
“We have a no-lying policy,” Derek Baars said in an interview.
“We explained to the agency that we are not prepared to tell the children a lie. If the children asked, we would not lie to them, but we wouldn’t bring it up ourselves.”
The Baars are members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America.
The couple was content to hide chocolate eggs for the children to find on Easter, play games and buy them Easter dresses, but this did not satisfy the support worker, who insisted the Baars go out of their way to instil a belief in the special power of the Easter Bunny as an essential part of Canadian culture, the couple claims.
Derek recounted an awkward meeting with the worker, where she told the Baars they were “required” to “affirm the existence of E.B. and S.C.” — with the worker using initials for the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus as the children were present.
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