TIME TO ATTACH: I recently led an interdisciplinary group of researchers that produced a report for Ontario’s Adoptive Parents Association and the Adoption Council of Canada about parental leave benefits for adoptive parents and permanent kin and customary caregivers in Canada. Currently, these parents or caregivers can qualify only for what are called ‘parental benefits,’ whereas biological parents can qualify for parental benefits plus ‘maternity benefits’ (see here). We argue in our report that this system is neither fair to nor sufficient to meet the needs of people who provide permanency to children. These people face the unique challenge of having their children attach to them as their parent or primary caregiver. The children need sufficient time to attach, which they don’t get because of the way Canada’s system of EI (Employment Insurance) benefits is structured. We recommend that the federal government add to this system what we call “attachment benefits” and make these benefits available to the families that are the focus of our report, which is entitled “Time to Attach: An Argument in Favour of EI Attachment Benefits.”
PUBLIC FUNDING FOR IVF: This effort culminated in a report and a paper about why the Ontario government should not deem IVF to be a medically necessary service. See “The Medical Non-Necessity of In Vitro Fertilization” (IJFAB: International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, 2017). See also “Building Families Equitably in Ontario” (Toronto Star, 2015); “Raising Expectations about IVF But Not Adoption” (with A. Botterell, Impact Ethics, 2014); and “Can Public Funding for IVF Be Justified?” (with A. Botterell, In Due Course, 2014).
CONSCIENTIOUS REFUSALS IN REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE: I led a CIHR-funded research group that studied refusals by health care professionals to provide reproductive services (e.g., abortions) on grounds of conscience. After consulting with Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada, the group created a model policy; see “Moving Forward With a Clear Conscience: A Model Conscientious Objection Policy for Canadian Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons” (Health Law Review, 2013). The group also responded to calls for consultation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario about regulating conscientious refusals. Their new Policy 2-15 "Professional Obligations and Human Rights" reflects some of our recommendations, in particular our claim that conscientious objectors should be required to give referrals for the services they refuse to provide so that their objections do not disrupt access to them.