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PaNow.com: Saskatoon mom raises insurance fairness question

A Saskatoon mom is frustrated that employment insurance only allows 35 weeks of parental leave for adoptive parents

Author: Ashley Wills, www.panow.com Published: 2012-01-31 20-35-00 Viewed, times: 1654
  
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Donna Zaleschuck, Jan. 25 2012. Ashley Wills/News Talk Radio

A Saskatoon mom is frustrated that employment insurance only allows 35 weeks of parental leave for adoptive parents.

Currently biological parents receive fifty weeks.

"Families come together (in) different ways, by birth, by adoption, but it is at federal level they have to ensure the outcomes are equal for everyone," said Donna Zaleschuck, who adopted two children with her husband in 2008.

After years of looking at adoption, the Zaleschuck's were matched with a pair of siblings from Ukraine -- seven-year-old Evan and two-year-old Valya.

It was easier for their son to adjust to life in Canada because Valya was accustomed to life in an orphanage, said Zaleschuk.

"They grew up with a room full of children, different care givers, a very kind of institutionalized setting. It took a while for her to understand the family dynamic."

Donna said it took nearly two years for their family to find its rhythm, adding that having the extra 15 weeks given to biological mothers with maternity leave would have made a difference.

"In my view children need a lot of care, but children through adoption have that added level complexity. They bring a history, some of it you know, some of it you don't know, and it just takes a longer time to help them get through it."

Adoption advocates in Saskatoon announced their continued pressure on the federal government to bring equality to all new parents receiving employment insurance benefits.






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