I normally try not to post two "downers" in a row, but an article in the Canadian National Post on Monday is already old enough that I don't want to pass it up.
"The societal panic over childhood obesity, already entrenched in the medical system and evident in the furor over school lunches, is beginning to influence custody judgments and child-welfare authorities in their decisions about fitness to parent."
A lot of us are familiar with the cases in California in recent years, where a young girl was taken from her mother because she was too fat. In those cases, NAAFA helped advocate for the parents in getting their child returned. In the meantime, apparently, Canada has been busily establishing legal precedents to allow the weight of both child and parent to figure into determinations of parental fitness in custody and adoption battles.
The article mentions an ongoing case in Toronto (the reporter isn't allowed to release details until the case is resolved) where a young girl was removed from her home because the child was fat, and the mother refused to force the girl to diet.
It goes into more detail concerning a pair of fat twins in a custody battle which raged over 8 years. The twins, now 10, have spent nearly their entire lives in hospital-based weight-loss programs. Can you imagine sacrificing a child's entire developmental period to dieting?
That particular case, at least had a mixed happy ending:
The mother, Lisa, argued against the father gaining full custody, saying that his approach to parenting was "his continuous attendances with the children on numerous medical reviews, weigh-ins and the administering of blood tests; combined with his continuous negative references to others and directly to the children that they are overweight, not normal and are ill and in danger of developing certain conditions or diseases."
In the end, the court determined that primary custody should go to the mother, where the children seemed most happy and well-adjusted, while conceding "the weight-management of the children was a problem that needed addressing."
In other words, we haven't seen the last of fat, in either adult or child, as a determining factor in parental fitness and rights. The Ontario Family Court is still deciding whether a child can be removed altogether from her natural parents simply for being fat.