Man Loses Custody Of His Children Because He’s Obese

Yesterday in Ottawa, a man lost custody of his two children. This isn’t news; custody cases are decided every day. But what makes this case noteworthy is that the judge cited the man’s obesity in his decision to remove the children permanently and place them for adoption.

The 38 year old man, whose identity is being kept secret to maintain his children’s confidentiality, currently weighs somewhere around 380 pounds. His children, who have special needs, lived with his ex-wife until last year when they were seized by Children’s Aid after a suspected overdose. They have been in the custody of CAS ever since despite the man’s efforts to access them. He claims he has not seen his two children whatsoever since last year.

When this battle with CAS began, the man weighed as much as 525 pounds. He took it upon himself to lose the weight, even refusing weight-loss surgery so that he would “respect the weight loss” himself. However, with his current weight still near 400 pounds, the judge felt that the man’s weight loss would be a “full time job”, and that it’s also a “full time job” to care for his two special-needs children, meaning the judge believed the man wasn’t able to properly care for the children and that it was in their best interests to be adopted.

The decision doesn’t appear to be wholly based on the man’s weight, however. The judge called him a loving and intelligent father, who also has an apparent history of smoking marijuana, of marathon video-game sessions and outbursts of violence, including towards Children’s Aid. The judge also cited the man’s “hatred of women”, which he denies.

The man now vows to stage a hunger strike on Parliament Hill to bring attention to his case. Certainly, if his weight were the only deciding factor in this case, it’s not only disturbing, it’s discrimination. But is it the only factor here? Can a man with his own physical and mental challenges raise two special needs children?


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sharyn w.
sharyn w.about a year ago

I'm not concerned about his weigh. My concern is marathon video games sessions are addictive. When you disturb those addictive video-gamers they become hostile. Even children, tween's and teens living at home get hostile when parents/grandparents/caregivers interrupt or demand they stop playing. I wouldn't want anyone watching/caring for any children(even if they're not special needs) if they they're on hooked video games and/or marijuana. Short tempered people who're prone to violence should definitley not be responsible for caring for special needs children or adults. Even he breaks his addiction for video-gaming and gives up smoking marijuana permanently; and takes anger management. Okay give him a chance under close supervision only. As far as his weight goes, as long as he up and mobile without assistant, in relatively good health and can do all the things that's required of any other parent with special needs children okay . He must have help from some agency/persons who're trained to help with the special needs children on a daily basis. For at least 4 hrs daily. Very close monitoring by the courts is necessary up and until...He should be allowed to see and /or visit his children as long as he's not abusive to them. I'm quite sure the children have been traumatized enough by being removed from their mother and being placed with strangers, maybe seeing father would be comforting to them.

Magdalena C.
Past Member about a year ago

Thank you!

Connie Brauer
Connie Brauer4 years ago

I'm really surprised by some of the comments on this issue. All those in agreement with removing the children from this father, ask yourself this: What if this was me and those where my children? How would I feel?

Connie Brauer
Connie Brauer4 years ago

This action is total discrimination against men. Being obese is not a crime. Obesity does not mean he can't look after his children. It is the Nazis against the people. Canada's court system is outrageously discriminatory against men. It systematically denies men the right to parent their own children. This is a crime against humanity, It must Stop!
We are protesting this and all other forms of male, non custodial discrimination in divorce and family law.

Joan R.
Joan R.4 years ago

I don't think obesity was the main issue at play here.

Tamara H.
Tamara H.4 years ago

It's not the weight that's the deciding factor, it's his ability to care for these special needs children. Being obese contributes to his inability.

Tamara H.
Tamara H.4 years ago

It's not the weight that's the deciding factor, it's his ability to care for these special needs children. Being obese contributes to his inability.

David Halverson
David Halverson4 years ago

Another case of government deciding for the citizens how the child(ren) of each family household is to be raised. Adoption is always a viable end but so is placing the children of the world into an institution (a.k.a. Child Centres) for the first 20 years of their lives so that they can be raised according to governmental standards. The end product will be a 'proper' citizen ready to work and contribute to society. Unlike what we have today, gangs, violence, drug abuse.

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith4 years ago

There's something that dosen't add up here. Well a few things.

1) Gamining marathon. How? I mean, what if he works a 9-5 job, and on his days off he plays some games because he's got nothing better to do? I mean if he plays for 8 hrs on his days off, so what? Do they expect him to do nothing and act like his kids are there even though they're not? There's no defintion of this marathon, it could only be on his days off, it could be every day, who knows?

2) Drug usage - Where dose this come from? Were their tests? Or was it his wife saying this? Was he busted for drugs? Plus, Marawana isn't illigal in Canada in small quantites. Was he a dealer? Was there something going on besides a recriational dose? And again, WOULD HE DO IT WITH KIDS?

3) Outburst towards CSA. Err, they're denying him the right to see his kids. I think we can all agree that would piss anyone off. Do they happen reguarly or not? Is there a medical reason for them?

The fact that he's lost all that weight and is commited to doing it for his kids clearly means he cares about them. But there's not enough here to say if the judge is acting in the best intrest of the children, or if he really dislikes this man for being overweight.

Jennifer G.
Jennifer G.4 years ago

It's sad, but in the best interest of the children, they probably would do best in a loving, adoptive home...hopefully with an open idea of having visitation privileges with their father. By the time they grow up, perhaps their dad will have shifted his video-gaming priorities and they can continue their relationship.