Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Uphill Battle....Please Help

Once again I am coming to you asking for you to consider going to battle with me and other adoptive families to fight for the rights of our children.

It has come to our attention in the past couple of days that the Province of Ontario has recently begun to enforce a policy which will now withhold OHIP coverage (provincial medical coverage) for Hannah and other internationally adopted children for a period of 3 months.

Until a few weeks ago an internationally adopted child was granted OHIP coverage (medical coverage for which we pay for with our taxes) upon arrival in Canada. These children often arrive in Canada having had less medical care than they would have here and one of the very first things we would do would be to take them for a medical to see how we can best help our children.

Can you imagine a mother giving birth to a child in a hospital and the government saying, 'OK, see you in 3 months when we will begin to cover your child's medical needs?' No! Why do they feel it is ok to do this for internationally adopted children? I live in this province and pay my taxes just as any birthparent does. Why should my child be denied medical care? What happens if she is ill during these first few months? The adoption itself stretches many adoptive parents financially, myself included, so if suddenly I need to pay for all medical care out of pocket, if I can even get medical care for her, is totally unfair! I don't even know how it would work as the very first thing I have to do at any doctor's office is to swipe my OHIP card. What will happen if I don't even have a card for Hannah? Truly it's frightening, especially when it can easily be avoided.

Recently it seems that international adoptions have been fighting many battles and this is another one to add to the list. 2 months ago it was the Citizenship challenge and now OHIP coverage. Fighting for my child though has the 'mamma bear' is coming out again!

This is where you come in. Would you consider writing letters on our behalf to help get this situation rectified? I truly believe that it is not meant for our children to be discriminated against but sadly this is what this policy is doing. I truly believe that this policy can be overturned if enough people bring it to the attention of our government. Hannah will now arrive home as a Canadian citizen so the next challenge is to get the Province to accept this too and begin to once again offer medical coverage immediately upon arrival in Ontario.

So, what can you do? If you're a resident of Ontario I ask that you please consider contacting your local MPP and others letting them know of this unfair policy and how it negatively affects so many innocent children.

For a list of the local MPPs in your area: CLICK HERE

Also, here are the addresses of others who you can contact to help overturn this policy:

1) David Caplan - the Minister of Health:

2) Abid Malik - the Director of Policy for the Minister: Abid.Malik@ontario.ca

3) Heather Mack - the Chief of Staff for the Minister: Heather.Mack@ontario.ca

4) Ron Sapsford - the Deputy Minister: Ron.Sapsford@ontario.ca

5) Ken Deene - Assistant Deputy Minister, Health System Accountability and
Performance Division: ken.deane@ontario.ca

6) Dawn Ogram - Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate and Direct Services: Dawn.Ogram@ontario.ca

and... here is a form letter for anyone interested in writing (change as needed to fit your situation):

Dear _______________,

It has come to my attention that recently several families have been denied OHIP coverage for their newly internationally adopted children, having been told by both ServiceOntario staff and Ministry of Health staff that these children are required to have lived in Ontario for three months prior to obtaining coverage.

This is extremely upsetting to me both as a resident of Ontario and as an adoptive parent. This new policy, implemented January 2009, is clearly discriminatory as it does not provide equal treatment to our adopted children as is provided to their born-in-Ontario counterparts. It is even more confusing that the Ontario government would choose to deny medical coverage to infants and children who have just come from institutional care in developing nations and therefore require immediate medical attention to ensure their well-being, now and in the future.

This matter is urgent as every day, more and more children are being denied health care upon their arrival in Ontario. Ministry staff have quoted Regulation 552 of the Health Insurance Act as the reason for the denial of OHIP coverage, however to my knowledge this regulation has not changed and previous to January 27, 2009 internationally adopted children were able to receive health care immediately upon arriving home to Ontario with their adoptive parents.

Our adopted children deserve to receive fair and equal treatment as compared to children who are born in Ontario. I respectfully request that action be taken immediately to remedy this situation and I look forward to hearing your response on this urgent matter.

Insert your name and contact details


Family and friends, Thank you so much for considering writing these letters to help Hannah and all of the other children who are being welcomed into Ontario. I truly believe that if enough people write their concerns to those who can make the changes then it can happen. All children in the province deserve the right to good medical coverage and I believe it can happen again.

Thanks again.


  1. I got an e-mail about this this morning and I had to read it over a few times since I could hardly believe it! This is just awful, I can't imagine how these people are justifying this decision.

  2. That's terrible!

    I will pray about this for you, Catherine.


  3. Why on earth would they do this?! It's just a horrible decision and I really don't understand it.

  4. I just don't know what to say ... except that I'll pray ...... God bless you, Catherine.

  5. Is Canada a signatory to the Hague Convention? If so, this violates it. Article 26 requires receiving countries to grant the same rights to Hague adoptees as it would domestic adoptees.

  6. Oh my!! That's terrible!! I do know how you feel!!

    Last week I got a call from the receptionist at the specialist we took Carys too in Victoria while we were there for her eyes. She asked me if I had Carys's new BC Care card number yet. I told her we had applied for it already but hadn't received it yet but that Carys was still covered under the ministry until we get the new card. She said she had tried to put the visit through twice and got denied both times saying her health care number expired in Jan???!!!

    I called my social worker to see what's up and they are working on it! Scared me for a bit as I've already taken her to the doctor too with being sick when we got home!

    I'll pray it all works out for you guys in Ontario!!!!

  7. I wrote my MPP last night and will write to the others tonight. This is discrimination - plain and simple.

  8. Why, OH Why, do the Govt make things so difficult?

    Will be praying for you, Hannah and your Govt.

  9. Oh Catherine.... this really is the terrible! As non Ontarioans, are we able to send letters too??? Does this affect D3 also???

    I can get some letter writing going if this will help!

    Prayers and hugs

  10. This makes absolutely no sense and I agree that it is outright discrimination. It is wrong, wrong, wrong no matter how you look at it. Mhy own little guy had bad bronchitis when we returned home and I can't imagine what his month long treatment would have cost us if we had to pay for it out of pocket. I have many other friends on your side of the border that will be dealing with this. I can only hope for all of your sakes that this gets reversed fast.

  11. It is incredibly awful! I wish I could do more.

    Keep smilin!

  12. I am outraged by this. Reading this makes me literally sick to my stomach! It is just blatant discrimination! How can they justify this? I am so sorry you have to worry about this, I really am. After the pain of waiting 3 years you should not be put through any more stress at one of the happiest times of your life. You better believe I will be contacting them!

  13. Wow! Just another battle... best of luck in your fight. I'm curious what your government expects you to do?

    Her in the states we have insurance but my husbands company will not cover a child (domestic adoption) until the first of the month AFTER they are born. Our daughter was born on the 6th so we had to pay ALL of her medical bills for the whole month. If she had been born on the LAST day of the month... she would have been covered! Isn't that ridiculous?

    Best of luck!



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