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Minister Not Aware of CAS Policies
March 20, 2012 permalink
Responding to a question in the legislature yesterday from Monique Taylor, the Minister of Children and Youth Services, Mr Eric Hoskins, said that his ministry was "not aware of a concerted policy to obtain babies for adoption from unmarried mothers".
Miss Monique Taylor: My question is to the Minister of Children and Youth Services. I know many in this House have read in recent weeks about the hidden tragedy of coerced adoptions in our province. Unmarried mothers were forced to give up their newborn children. I’ve spoken to some of those mothers, and let me tell you, the stories are heartbreaking. They were separated from their babies at the time of their birth and still live with the trauma of that experience to this day.
Will the minister meet with these mothers to hear their stories and help them uncover what happened to Ontario women in maternity homes?
Hon. Eric Hoskins: I want to thank the member opposite for her question, and I have been following coverage of this story very, very closely. I have to say, as a parent myself, these stories are extremely difficult to read, and I want to commend the women involved for showing the courage to speak out.
Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely paramount that all women have their rights protected when making an important decision such as adoption and that they’re provided with all the information they need and provided with that information in an unbiased fashion.
My ministry is not aware of a concerted policy to obtain babies for adoption from unmarried mothers. We are committed to supporting an adoption system in Ontario that emphasizes the rights of and the respect for children, birth parents and adoptive parents.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
Miss Monique Taylor: The Salvation Army and the United Church were among those running maternity homes where these practices have taken place. They have committed to investigating what happened.
Will the minister also commit to following their example by ordering an investigation into past adoption practices in Ontario?
Hon. Eric Hoskins: Thank you again for that question. I want to reiterate that my ministry is not aware of any concerted policy to obtain babies for adoption from unmarried mothers. Our government has worked hard to strengthen transparency and accountability when it comes to adoption practices and adoption laws in Ontario.
Child protection in Ontario currently has a variety of independent and rigorous government-mandated oversights, reviews and systems of accountability, including such measures as the Child and Family Services Review Board, which has the authority to review certain decisions and complaints.
Our government is committed to a transparent and accountable system of adoption. In 2008, we introduced the Access to Adoption Records Act, Mr. Speaker, which was subsequently passed into law, so that adopted adults and birth parents may be able to receive more information contained in records —
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Thank you. New question?
Source: Ontario Hansard
We have no idea how many newborns are taken from Ontario's delivery rooms because of confidentiality laws. Only insiders, such as Mr Hoskins, have the ability to penetrate confidentiality to see the real numbers, and real policies.
But from the outside we have been able to show in these columns for years that Ontario's children's aid societies take around seven thousand children a year from their parents by force of arms. Most cases are the taking of children from single mothers. Some of them are seizing newborns in the delivery room. It is impossible to believe that the responsible minister is unaware of these facts and policies.
Kathryn Blaze Carlson continues her series on forced adoption with her reaction to minister Hoskins' statement: NDP MPP Monique Taylor ‘shocked’ at lack of response to push for coerced adoption probe