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Time to attach: An argument in favour of EI attachment benefits

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McLead, Carolyn & Davies, Lorraine et al.
Publication Date: 
30 Apr 2019

EXCERPTS from the executive summary

This report highlights a problem in Canada’s system of parental leave benefits, which is that it fails to recognize the unique challenges that tend to accompany a legal adoption. Consider that adoptive parents are eligible only for what the government calls ‘parental benefits,’ whereas biological parents are eligible for parental benefits plus ‘maternity benefits.’ The purpose of maternity benefits is to respond to the special challenges that accompany pregnancy and birth.

But there are no comparable benefits for adoptive parents, none that respond to needs that are unique to their families compared to biological ones. What the system does, then, is treat adoption as though it is parenting minus pregnancy and birth. On this view, there is nothing special about adoption; it is like any other form of parenting except that it didn’t begin with a pregnancy and birth. But such claims about adoption are patently false.