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09th Mar 2018

Couple had foster children removed from home after refusing to lie about Easter Bunny

Keeley Ryan

A court has ruled that a couple should not have had their foster children taken away after they refused to say that the Easter Bunny was real.

Frances and Derek Baars, a Canadian couple who describe themselves as a Christian couple with “strong religious faith”, took the Children’s Aid Society to court in April last year, according to the CBC.

The agency ended up removing the two children, a three-year-old and a five-year-old, from their home. They also barred them from future adoptions.

The Children’s Aid Society (CAS), who receives taxpayer funds, is meant to provide child protection services not he behalf of the province.

The couple said that the Easter Bunny was in the middle of the dispute, arguing that telling the two girls in their care that the character was real would violate their religious beliefs.

The court heard how CAS support worker Tracey Lindsay visited the Baars family, acknowledging the the two young girls appeared to be very well cared for.

The CAS said that Ms Lindsay “never asked (the Baars) to lie or betray their faith”.

But the publication reports that the Baars argued that she had told them it was part of their duties as foster parents to teach the girls about the Easter Bunny.

The couple said that they had intended to hide chocolate eggs so the girls could have an Easter egg hunt, as well as playing other games.

They said that they didn’t plan to speak to the kids about the Easter Bunny, unless they specifically asked.

Superior Court Judge A.J. Goodman ruled in favour of the Baars.

He found the they did try and have the two grill enjoy the holidays, like Easter and Christmas.

In a decision published on Tuesday, he wrote:

“There is ample evidence to support the fact that the children were removed because the Baars refused to either tell or imply that the Easter Bunny was delivering chocolate to the Baars’ home.

“I am more than satisfied that the society actions interfered substantially with the Baars’ religious beliefs.

“There is sufficient evidence to assert that the Baars did, indeed, attempt to preserve the children’s enjoyment of the holidays, even of they were not able, pursuant to their religious beliefs, to positively perpetuate the existence of the fictitious characters that are associated with those holidays,”