Athena Harper was two years old when her mother ran away with her, removing the girl from Dean Harper’s life. Sixteen years later the two were reunited after her father spent sixteen years tracking her down. After being reunited with her father, Athena moved into his home and became part of his family.
The joy over this reunion was soiled, however, when Harper learned where his daughter had been during the sixteen years of separation. Since the age of twelve, Athena had been taken into foster care, being cared for by the Batshaw Youth and Family Center. The center never reached out to Harper, or made any attempt to contact him in regards to his daughter, even though they had his information on file.
Claire Roy, a spokesperson for the center, claimed that “In all situations, social workers make regular attempts to locate parents in the province of Quebec, across Canada, and any other countries, even in prisons. These efforts are always based on the children’s needs.” However, these measures do not seem to have been taken in Harper’s case – he did not even know his daughter had been in the system until after they had reunited.
When Harper finally got in touch with his daughter, the center proceeded to bill him $7,800, claiming it was his parental contribution to her care. However, Harper plans to fight the bill and is even considering legal action.