Friday, July 27, 2007

Too Fat to Parent?

Call it a miscarriage of justice, call it just plain fat-ism, but whatever you call it, it stinks to me: a court in Missouri ruled this week that a man who planned to adopt his infant cousin--and happens to weigh 500 lbs--is unfit to become the child's adoptive parent...because of his weight.

Now, I understand that a 500 lb person might have health issues (which is what the court appointed guardian lists as the reason the application was denied), but so might any number of other people who are adoptive parents, or want to be. And it would be another thing, too, if this was but one in a series of disqualifications in the family--but just 7 years ago, when the overweight man was pretty much just as overweight as he is now, another court approved him for the adoption of his son. So one court says this man and his family are perfectly acceptable parents, and now another says he's just too fat to qualify.

Not only does this decision make no sense based on the facts themselves, but given what the foster care system in this country looks like, the decision is doubly stomach turning. This judge has just taken a kid who's presumably been living happily and stably in a home with his relatives and shunted him into a system that regularly fails its charges, and at best subjects them to the kind of instability and chaos that almost always leaves some kind of scars.

Something's seriously awry, ladies and gents, when fat becomes the reason to deny a kid an otherwise acceptable home. My heart breaks for the whole family.

1 comment:

Nicki Mann said...

Thats so sad! I mean we know the system discriminates against people for all sorts of reasons... but it seems like instead of getting BETTER, they are just finding MORE ways to discriminate! Why deny a child a home, because the perspective parent is, of all things, overweight? Ridiculous!