A Christian couple who had their foster children removed from their care because they did not teach that the Easter Bunny was real have won a court case in Canada.
Derek and Frances Baars had also been banned from fostering and adopting in the future by the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) of Hamilton.
According to court documents, CAS claimed it was the duty of foster parents to tell children about the Easter Bunny.
The couple were urged to specifically teach about “the tradition of the Easter Bunny bringing chocolate Easter eggs”.
CAS removed the children on a day’s notice, an act which child experts told the court was a “potentially traumatising event”.
But Justice Andrew Goodman has now ruled in favour of the couple, saying their religious protections under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated.
He wrote in his decision: “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.”
Speaking afterwards, Frances Baars said: “We are very thankful for it, that we’ve been vindicated. Our names have been cleared and we don’t have that hanging over us anymore.”
Dominic Verticchio, Executive Director of the Hamilton CAS, told a local newspaper: “We respect the decision of the court.”
“I apologise for what the foster parents went through”, he added.
The couple are now free to adopt and foster again.