EI Coverage Decision Angers Adoptive Parents

    Adoptive Mother seeks Leave to Appeal for Unfair EI Coverage for Adoptive

    BURNABY, BC, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - On October 9th, 2007, Patti Tomasson filed a
Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada for employment benefits for
adoptive parents. Tomasson, an adoptive mother of two, has endured a lengthy
court battle seeking an additional 15 weeks of leave that is granted to birth
parents, but not to adoptive parents. In addition to 35 weeks of paid leave,
birth mothers are eligible for 15 weeks of maternity leave for recovery from
childbirth. In August 2007, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that Tomasson
did not deserve the additional 15 weeks as she did not endure the
physiological experiences of child-birth and the associated recovery process.
    "This is clear and blatant discrimination against adoptive parents," says
David Kuefler, President of AFABC. "The outdated EI coverage benefits do not
meet the needs of today's families, adoptive families being a large part of
our communities. Both biological and adoptive families need and greatly
benefit from equal time together after a child comes home. To say that
adoptive families do not deserve the time to bond with their children is
unfair and absurd. And we should be ready to fight."
    "I am optimistic that the Supreme Court of Canada will grant this Leave
to Appeal after a full review, and will rule that adoptive parents are
entitled to the time with their children." stated Tomasson.
    Adoptive families across Canada face the same challenges in eligibility
for additional leave. Adoptive parents, organizations, professionals and
advocates are urged to contact their Members of Parliament to express support
and share their views about the EI legislation for adoptive parents and to
raise awareness within their communities to mobilize for change. The Leave to
Appeal is under review by the Supreme Court of Canada as of October 9th, 2007.
    "This is about fairness and what's right," says Kuefler, "it's an insult
to adoptive families across this country and unfairly impacts our children."

    The AFABC is a nonprofit organization that supports adoptive families and
promotes adoption. Every year, hundreds of children in BC require loving,
permanent families. The AFABC is dedicated to finding a family for every child
through adoption awareness, education, and support.
    For more information about the AFABC, visit their website at
www.bcadoption.com, or call 1-877-ADOPT-07 to learn more about BC's waiting

For further information:

For further information: Karen Madeiros, Executive Director, Adoptive
Families Association of BC, (604) 320-7330, ext. 109,

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