We’ve heard of parents losing custody of obese children, but now it seems that a Canadian court used one father’s excessive weight as the reason to deny him custody of his sons, according to Canada.com.
The 38-year-old dad, who cannot be identified under the Child and Family Services Act, is presently involved in a custody battle with the Royal Ottawa Hospitals’ family court clinic over his two sons. The boys, ages five and six, both have special needs. The clinic does court-ordered evaluations on parents and they use obesity as one of the factors when determining whether someone is fit to be a parent.
The boys in question were seized from their mother’s house last year after she went to get treatment for a suspected overdose. The father weighed 525 pounds at that time. Since then, he has lost 180 pounds and is working hard to lose more. The dad claims that he was offered gastric bypass surgery to help with his weight struggle, which he refused. "I wanted to do it on my own so I would respect the weight loss myself," he said. He also claims to have stopped smoking marijuana in response to the clinic’s assessment of an addiction.
"Regardless of how much weight (the father) may have lost to date, he will continue to be at risk related to his obesity for some considerable time,” wrote the family court doctor responsible for reviewing the man’s case.
The father, who responded by saying he was “never too fat to be a dad,” has not seen his sons in a year. The boys are currently in foster care.
"Any human who has the capacity, intellect and desire can be a wonderful parent, no matter if they are a dwarf or a parent in a wheelchair," he said. "Parenting comes from the heart and soul.”
Do you think a person's weight can interfere with his or her ability to be a good parent?