Petition to the Government of Canada
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion’s 2019 and 2020 mandate letters promised an additional attachment leave benefit for families formed by adoption, kinship, and customary care;
Attachment leave is about giving children and youth more time to attach to improve the long-term outcomes for them and their families and would complement the existing parental benefits of 35 weeks;
Canada’s system does not measure up to the standards of many other countries, both in terms of whether there is equality with biological parents and how good the benefits are for adoptive parents and caregivers;
Most children adopted in Canada are over the age of ten at the time of placement and many have a history of trauma or serious loss;
Having their new parent or caregiver(s) at home longer, in the critical first year of placement, gives them time to form attachments, begin processing their grief and loss, and may help reduce adoption/placement breakdown later;
Yet, Canada's parental benefit system allocates a longer paid leave to biological parents (50 weeks) than to adoptive parents, kinship, and customary caregivers (35 weeks); and
The government should ensure equal treatment of parental leave benefits for adoptive parents, kinship and customary caregivers.
We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, community of adoptive parents, adoptees, kinship and customary caregivers, call upon the Government of Canada to implement a 15-week additional attachment leave benefit under the Employment Insurance program to support healthy and secure attachment for families formed by adoption, kinship, and customary care.