Calgary couple say international adoption should be deemed essential travel

CALGARY — It’s been a challenging and emotional three-year process for a Calgary couple to adopt their baby internationally during the pandemic and they say there are more hurdles to face.

After eventually getting matched with a baby boy in Colombia, Mark and Annie Goodaire will now have to fly there to bring their baby home. However, upon returning to Canada they will need to quarantine in a hotel for up to three days on their own dime, as per new travel restrictions implemented last month by Ottawa

“This process has been very emotional, heavy and expensive,” said Annie Goodaire.

“To be welcomed to our country with a big bill is sad and disappointing.”

The new measures were put in place to discourage anyone from travelling during this time to limit the spread of COVID-19. According to the Government of Canada’s website, only essential travelers may be exempt from the hotel quarantine mandate. This includes people who provide essential services such as healthcare, those who maintain the flow of essential goods or people like commerce transit and trucking, people receiving non-COVID-19 related medical care within 36 hours of entering the country, those who regularly cross the border to work and people who live in a community that straddles the Canada-U.S. border.

STATEMENT

A statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada to CTV News states,

“Parents travelling to take custody of their adoptive child should prepare to adhere to travel measures put in place in the fight against COVID -19.”

Mark Goodaire said he has been corresponding with government officials on the matter and was told that adoption is included under the general class of family reunification and therefore they are not exempted from travel measures.

Goodaire added that he and his wife are not travelling to Colombia for vacation and believes their situation should be looked at as essential.

“A baby sitting there in an orphanage in another country I think it’s essential that we get together as quickly as possible,” he said.

The couple was hoping the government would make an exception on a case-by-case basis and allow the family to quarantine at home.

“It should be a little more thoughtful rather than having a broad brush approach which is what it looks like today,” said Mark.

“We want to raise awareness because non-essential travel is a very general term and there is a very specific reasons why people do need to travel and this is one of them it’s our family and our baby waiting for us,” said Annie.

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