This morning I read the story about an Ottawa man who lost his children in a custody battle, at least in part due to his weight. While the name of the man has not been released, according to The Globe and Mail, weight played a major factor in the judge’s decision.
The 38-year-old man now weighs 380 pounds. A year ago when his kids were removed from his ex-wife’s home after her alleged drug overdose, he weighed 525 pounds.
According to the news article, at one time the man also was a chronic marijuana user, had a marijuana grow-op, and played video games for hours. But, this doesn’t appear to be his current lifestyle.
While it is difficult to pin down the facts in this case because the man’s identity is protected under the Child and Family Services Act, it appears that the man has made changes to improve his life to gain custody of his children who are now being put up for adoption.
I understand that after a certain weight a person may not be able to take care of his or her children because the weight constitutes a disability; however, I don’t think 380 pounds is the magic number on the scale. And, this man lost 145 pounds in a year. That’s impressive and a clear sign of an effort on his part to take charge of his life to transform his circumstances. I also don’t think weight should be a factor in determining whether a person is a suitable parent. If these are all the facts, I think his human rights were violated here.
I’d love to know what you think. Should the courts be able to use a person’s weight to determine his or her suitability to have custody of children?