A Canadian father is outraged and has vowed to go on a hunger strike after losing custody of his two special needs children. The two boys, 5 and 6 years old, will now be put up for adoption. And he believes the reason this happened is because he's too fat. The man, who used to weigh 525 pounds, now weighs 355 pounds. But he'll soon weigh a lot less, because he plans to stop eating until he gets his children back. "I am absolutely blown away by this decision, and I will not stand for it," said the fat dad.
The man, who lives in Ottawa and can't be named to protect his kids, says that his obesity was a big factor in the judge's decision. The judge ruled that the man's losing more weight would take up too much of his time, and he wouldn't also be able to parent two young special needs kids. I guess this wouldn't be so horrible if the children were going to go live with their mother, but they are being put up for adoption.
There is more going on here than just the man's weight. Also taken into the judge's account was the man's marijuana habit and his "violent" tendencies. However, even the judge acknowledged that the man was never violent with the children. The man also says he has been in counseling and taken anger management classes.
The judge heard much more than I did, so perhaps it was the right decision -- but putting two children up for adoption is serious and permanent. Children are going to love their father whether or not he's fat. Being obese certainly is a health risk. But it's about on par with smoking and children don't get taken away from parents who light up.
Would the kids pick up bad eating habits from dad? Possibly. But obesity and overeating is related to genetics, too. The kids could overeat wherever they end up. They may be even be more likely to overeat because of the trauma of being separated from their father.
As long as the parent loves their child and takes proper care of them, weight and other health issues shouldn't be a black-and-white determining factor in custody.
Do you think obesity should be a factor in child custody cases?
Image via Kyle May/Flickr
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