Headline: "OTTAWA — An Ottawa man whose obesity played a factor in whether he was fit enough to be a father has lost custody of his children after a
judge ruled Wednesday that his two boys will be put up for adoption."
This is sad story. The father is reported to have been a heavy online gamer and, in the past to have run a grow-op and been a marijuana smoker. He was
reported by children's aid workers to not know his own strength as they have said he caused them some pain when shaking their hands. The mother is not
in the picture at all according to the news story, and the children have unspecified special needs.
Both children are now in foster homes, one with a single mother with five other children.
While the family court acknowledged the man has been a loving father with no history of abuse or neglect of his children, the judge determined that,
based on the recommendations of the children’s aid workers and doctors, he would be unable to maintain his weight-loss program and also remain a
good father. Apparently, he would not have enough time to do both.
Recently, the father is reported to have lost 185 lbs through his own diet and exercise changes, but these were done without accepting recommended
medical interventions (i.e. bariatric surgery).
Apparently, the man's decision irritated one or more physicians who then recommended to the court his unsuitability as a father citing his
anti-authoritarian behavior and unwillingness to accept medical advice.
Are there unreasonable biases here? The parent’s gender? Because he is fat? Because he smoked pot? Because he didn’t follow his doctor’s advice?
Because he got on the wrong-side of children’s aid workers? Because it was reported he used to fight with his ex-wife? Because he spends too much
time online gaming?
I also wonder about extended family, relatives etc. but that is sometimes a support system that isn’t available or worth much depending on the
circumstances. For those who have it, it is a blessing.
We will probably never know the details. My guess is that his combined gender and obesity, and the fact that he rubbed some influential people the
wrong way, probably tipped the scales of family justice against him and his children.
There is too much unknown to point fingers, but this story seems somehow unfair to the children and their father and reeks of bias against single
fathers who are struggling.
edit on 21-6-2012 by surfin4it because: corrected a mis-spelled word