Edmonton

Province vows to help mother with MS keep children

Alberta's Minister of Human Services says he wants to ensure a central Alberta woman can stay with the two young children she is no longer physically able to look after.

Online outcry after mom of two apparently told to give up kids for adoption

Marie, who has multiple sclerosis, gazes at her daughter's bedroom with a CBC reporter. The province says it will ensure the central Alberta woman will be allowed to keep her children. (CBC)

Alberta's human services minister says he wants to ensure a central Alberta woman can stay with the two young children she is no longer physically able to look after.

The woman, whom CBC will call "Marie" in order to protect her two daughters, 4 and 5, has multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks the nervous system.

In Marie's case, MS has slowed her speech and forced her to use a walker to get around.

She said the symptoms became worse in 2009, after the birth of her second daughter. She was no longer able to clean her home, cook meals or bathe her children. A friend is now looking after them.

When Marie approached social services, she said she was told adoption was her only option.

"I think it's unfair," Marie told CBC News Monday.

"Just because I'm sick doesn't mean I love my kids any less."

Human Services Minister Dave Hancock says the province does not want to break up families. (CBC)
Marie's friend, Kristina Jameson, was outraged by the province's response and turned to the media and the Internet.

"They're a family and they are a very strong family and they deserve to be together," Jameson said.

Jameson set up a Facebook page called Miracle for Marie, which has attracted more than 1,500 followers.

Some followers called for donations to Marie's cause, while others demanded the province do something to reunite the family.

'Help families stay together'

On Monday, Human Services Minister Dave Hancock said he would review Marie's case.

"We are here to help families stay together where possible," Hancock told CBC News.

"So that means helping to ensure that she has her kids with her when she needs them."

Hancock said the best option would be to provide care for Marie and her children in their home.

Gazing at a basket of toys in one of her daughter's vacant room, Marie said she could not stop smiling after hearing the province would help her.

"They're my angels," she said.

"They don't see MS, they see mom."