Steven | Parental Benefits: Equality for Everyone

By Steven

Starting a family has been one of the most humbling and rewarding times of my life. My wife and I adopted two children from our local children’s aid society. Our adoptions happened rather quickly, adopting our children within eighteen months of one another. Whole adoption process was a little nerve racking but we are so grateful for our family.

In experiencing parental leave, I have learned a few things. 

First of all, the current E.I. system is set up for temporary benefits for workers and families. The amount of benefits paid is not enough given today’s cost of living. As well, there is a 2 week unpaid waiting period where there are no benefits. Families should not be penalized 2 weeks when they are trying to welcome and raise a family. Benefits should be paid out sooner or the benefits should be extended.

My wife and I each took a leave to be at home with our children.  My wife took the first 9 months with our eldest and I took 9 months with our youngest. I want to say how amazing it was that both my wife and I had the ability to take time off to be with our children. It was such a wonderful experience to be able to see them grow. The attachment period is extremely important in a family dynamic even more so when we are dealing with adoption. I realize that adoptive families do not have the physical act of having a baby but we do experience a range of feelings and emotions similar to that of biological families. We need time to work on attachment and bonding that doesn’t always come as easily. As well, doesn’t that child deserve to have his or her parents present for the same amount of time as a biological child? I think it should be the same for both.

All Canadian’s deserve equal time with their children. Families are families, no matter how they are formed.