Of all the reasons one can think of denying someone custody of their children, the last reason is their fitness level. Yet a court recently decided to take away a man’s children because he was literally “unfit” to parent:
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 would be put up for adoption.
In the judge’s ruling, the father was described as a “loving” and “intelligent” father who held deep hatred for the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa.
The ruling noted that the man had “angry outbursts” at CAS workers and threatened to go on a hunger strike if he lost custody of his sons.
The ruling also noted that the father didn’t know his own strength, with child-welfare workers re-porting that they felt pain from his handshake alone.
The court ruling, reviewed by the Citizen, noted that the man, who at one time weighed 525 pounds, may have trouble keeping up his daily weight-loss program while taking care of his four-and six-year-old boys, who both have special needs.
The ruling also noted that the 38-year-old father showed no signs of abuse toward the boys and that he was an avid gamer, playing World of Warcraft, the popular video-fantasy game, for up to 24 hours at a time. (He contends he played it once a week from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.)
The ruling notes no signs of physical abuse toward the children and says his home is “suitable,” but predicts that it won’t be in future be-cause he may need housemates to pay the rent.
It also notes that the man used to fight with his ex-wife, with whom he hasn’t lived in three years, and that he used to smoke a lot of marijuana.
The court essentially admits it has no good reason to take away the man’s children. Few people like social workers, especially when they are intent on taking someone’s kids, so it comes as no surprise that this man treats social workers with contempt. The court found no evidence that the man abused his sons, so the part about him not knowing his own strength makes no sense.
It appears that the only reason the court took the man’s kids is because he did not want the court involved in his life and because he wanted to lose the weight his own way.
But the court’s response was not only to take custody of the man’s sons, but to place them up for adoption. Ironically, one of the boys was placed in the home of a single mother with five kids. Yet the greater irony is this:
In fact, the father dropped to 340 pounds from 525 pounds and now weighs 380. He lost the weight on his own, refusing to undergo the sometimes deadly gastric bypass surgery at Ottawa Hospital.
The man acknowledges that he’s not perfect, but he says he’s a good father. “The only thing they have against me is my weight. I’m not too fat to be a dad. I can be a good dad. I almost ate myself to death but these days I eat really healthy meals,” he told the Citizen.
He said Wednesday night that he was ready to starve himself to death protest the judge’s ruling.
“The whole country will see exactly how serious I am.”
The man was clearly willing to lose weight. Placing his kids up for adoption looks to be nothing more than a punishment, and that is a cruel thing to do to someone who has not done anything wrong. It makes no sense why the court would bar him from seeing his sons (he has not seen them in a year), let alone take away custody. At the very least the court could have placed those boys in foster care until the father reached the weight the court felt was “appropriate” for him to be a parent.
This is a truly moronic decision.