Canada's Original Think Tank

Democratic Republic of Congo—Bringing Adopted Children to Canada

Democratic Republic of Congo—Bringing Adopted Children to Canada

Democratic Republic of Congo—Bringing Adopted Children to Canada

Democratic Republic of Congo—Bringing Adopted Children to Canada


Published on 16 February 2016
Hansard and Statements by Senator Mobina Jaffer

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:

Honourable senators, these days there is no shortage of sad and heartbreaking stories in the world. In all this chaos, there are people desperately trying to create a better world.

Today, I want to draw your attention to two people who spare no effort to give hope to Canadian families. The Ambassador of Canada to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ginette Martin, and adoption consultant Andrea Bastin are working tirelessly to ensure that 29 young children from the Democratic Republic of Congo who were adopted by Canadians can join their adoptive parents in Canada.

Recently, eight of those children received exit visas and were able to join their parents in Canada. Those families are extremely happy and have nothing but good things to say about Ambassador Martin and Ms. Bastin. They know that it is thanks to their hard work that their cases were settled.

However, these messages of joy and relief are overshadowed by the sadness and frustration felt by the families who still have not had the good fortune of welcoming their adoptive children home to Canada. There is no good reason for these children not to have authorization to leave their country. These children have already been adopted by Canadians.

Franklin Roosevelt said:

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.

We must provide this opportunity to these children. As long as they are living far away from their new family, they will live in uncertainty and instability.

Honourable senators, let us do everything we can to help Ambassador Martin and Andrea Bastin unite these children with their new families in Canada.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize the hard work and efforts carried out by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion, who has done his best to try and obtain exit visas for these Canadian children. He is also working hard to bring the children home. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister Dion, Ambassador Ginette Martin and Andrea Bastin for their efforts to bring these Canadian children home.

Thank you.