June 30, 2012

Father in custody battle after being deemed ‘too fat’ to parent

With Michigan as one of the many states in America with residents who suffer from obesity, community members may relate to one man in Canada who is claiming he lost child custody due to his excessive weight.

The father, who is 368 pounds, said the mother of his 5-year-old and 6-year-old boys has been in hospital care after a possible drug overdose and breakdown. The boys have been in foster care through the past year and will now be put up for adoption by rule of a judge.

Because of the ruling, the 38-year-old said he will now begin a hunger strike and appeal the court’s decision.

He claims the Royal Ottawa Hospital, which makes the decision whether a parent is a good choice to have custody of a child, discriminated against him due to his obesity. He said the hospital told him they felt he could not take care of the children because he was too fat. The father also said he had admitted he had previously dealt with anger management and the use of marijuana.

If citizens in Michigan are facing the same struggles with weight and child custody, an experienced attorney may be able to help communicate with a judge and convince the court the parent does not lack love or care for the child. Additionally, an attorney will be able to work with a client to identify and remedy perceived parental shortcomings.

In recent years, child custody battles concerning overweight parents and children have been on the rise, according to a 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal. The suits bring up difficult points to prove, including if obese parents are less fit to perform their duties, if children will fare better with foster families rather than biological parents and more. Do you think that a parent’s weight is a good indicator of his or her abilities to parent?

Source: The Huffington Post, “Child Custody: Obese Father Plans Hunger Strike After Losing Custody,” June 21, 2012