Frances and Derek Baars, a couple from Canada, decided that they would not lie to their foster children about the Easter Bunny’s existence. But it probably never crossed their minds that the choice would result in their two foster children being removed from their home. However, that’s exactly what happened when Children’s Aid Society (CAS) agent Tracey Lindsay decided not buying into the Easter Bunny’s existence was egregious enough to remove the 3- and 5-year-old from the Baars’ home. The agent also had the couple’s foster home shut down, which meant they could not host any foster children in the future.
The Baars eventually sued the CAS, arguing that lying to the children about the Easter Bunny was against their religious faith. The couple is devout Reformed Presbyterian and, as a result, do not celebrate Halloween and are against telling their foster children that Santa and the Easter Bunny are real. Never-the-less, the Baars told the agent that they would host an Easter egg hunt for the children but apparently, that was not enough.
After hearing the couple’s defense and a confirmation from Lindsay that the children were being taken care of by the Baars, Justice Andrew Goodman ruled that refusing to lie to kids about a fictional rabbit who leaves chocolate eggs everywhere was not a sufficient reason to take the foster children away from the couple. Justice Goodman released a decision that heavily criticized the CAS for removing the children from the Baars.
“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,” Goodman wrote. “I am more than satisfied that the Society actions interfered substantially with the Baars’ religious beliefs.”
Thanks to Justice Goodman’s ruling, the Baars’ record has been completely cleared and they now have the option to once again become foster parents, which brought the couple a tremendous amount of relief.
“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,” Frances told the National Post.