David and Donda Holt from New Brunswick, Canada have been foster parents for years, so they were shocked when their application to adopt their foster child was rejected for a list of strange reasons.
It all started when the Holts met their foster son Michael. He was just 7 months old when he was brought to the Holts' home, but they told CBC it "just made sense" for him to live with them, because there was no one else to look after the boy.
But when the Holts applied to adopt Michael in 2014, they got a rejection letter back from their province's government agency for adoption, the New Brunswick Department of Social Development.
The long list of reasons why the couple supposedly weren't fit to adopt Michael included that they were overweight, in their late 50s, that their son is mixed race (the Holts are white) and that they weren't involved enough in their community. The Holts didn't know what to think of this letter.
It's true that they were old, but since when is someone in their late 50s "too old" to raise a child?And while they do have some health problems (the letter mentions Donda's arthritis) their own doctor wrote them a letter saying they're both healthy enough to raise children.
The letter even suggested that the Holts were traumatized by their older, biological son Korey's death. While it's true they were sad, Korey had been living in a care home for years, and the Holt's had expected his death for a long time.
Strangest of all, the letter also said that David and Donda could never fix any of their problems. "Even if at this point the Holts were to change their lifestyle and make a serious effort to improve their health," the letter said, "it is questionable whether or not they would be able to maintain changes long term, given their unsuccessful attempts in the past to do this."
The Holts had raised foster children for years, and they've even adopted a daughter, 10-year-old Shay, so they had no idea why the province would make this decision.
After appealing to local politicians, and sending a letter written by Shay asking the department to let Michael stay, the decision was eventually reversed and last year the Holts officially became Michael's parents.
Still, they say changes need to be made so nobody suffers through their experience again. They say that "personality differences" with staff at the department are what made them reject the adoption, so they want a team of experts to decide on future cases instead.