Parents Say Foster Children Taken Away in Easter Bunny Battle


Canadian couple Derek and Frances Baars are gearing up for a court battle against the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton after the agency shut down their foster home.

Why? Well, the Baars say it is because they refused to say the Easter Bunny isn't real. They say the organization violated their religious freedom by trying "to compel and coerce the Baars to tell their foster children that the Easter bunny was real, in violation of the Baar's religious beliefs against lying," their complaint said. 

Derek Baars  told CBC News he feels like CAS was "imposing their will upon us."

"We believe that Christianity is objectively true, that it's based in history, and therefore truth-telling in every area of life is important – no matter what the area is," Baars said in an interview. "There is no such thing as white lies or innocent lies. It was crucial that we knew we were telling the children the truth and they had the right to expect us to tell the truth."

Hamilton CAS Executive Director Dominic Verticchio told CBC News he could not discuss the specifics of the case and legal defense has not been filed yet. However, he suggests there needs to be compromise between foster parents and CAS.

"When you have children placed outside their homes … I think there should be a balance between being respectful of the foster parent's beliefs, but also the kids," he said. "You've got to find a middle ground."

The Baars also claim their CAS worker was concerned they would not treat a prospective same-sex adoptive couple "well" — and that this became part of the reason for shutting them down as foster parents.

"The Baars were deeply offended by these unfounded allegations," the documents read.

The Baars say they hope their case will set a legal precedent that will further protect foster parents who hold deeply religious beliefs.

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