In the spring and early summer of 2018, we surveyed adoptive parents, people awaiting an adoption, and customary or kin caregivers in Canada about their perspectives on Canada's Employment Insurance benefits system. Our goal was to learn more about whether this system is sufficient to meet the needs of families like theirs.
Because parental benefits are different in Québec than in the rest of Canada, we did not gather data from parents or caregivers who reside in Québec.
In the end, 974 people filled out our survey. We also heard from at least one person in every province or territory except the Yukon (and Québec). Here are some of the other highlights from this study.
TYPE OF PARENT/CAREGIVER
The majority of the respondents were adoptive parents, although there were respondents of all types of parent or caregiver, including some who identified as multiple types.
SUPPORT FOR AN ATTACHMENT LEAVE
Respondents overwhelmingly agreed (somewhat agreed, agreed, or strongly agreed) that parents or caregivers like them would benefit from being able to take an additional 15-week "attachment leave" as part of their parental leave benefits package.
TAKING AN ATTACHMENT LEAVE
Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that they would have used a 15-week attachment leave had it been available to them.
TIME TO BOND
Over three quarters (76%) of respondents agreed that with at least one of their adopted children or children in their customary or kin care, the parental leave benefit system did not provide them with the time needed to adjust to parenting this child (or children).
TIME TO ATTACH
Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents agreed that the parental benefit system did not provide enough time for at least one of their adopted children, or children in their customary or kin care, to adjust to their new family and to form attachments.