Obese father loses children to adoption on judge’s order

Obese father loses children to adoption on judge’s order
Thursday, June 21, 2012
By GARY DIMMOCK, The Ottawa Citizen

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 will be put up for adoption.
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 will be put up for adoption.

OTTAWA — 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 will 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 he 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 reporting 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’s 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 because 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.

Superior Court Justice M. James said in his ruling:

“(The father) also has achieved stability in his personal life. He has lost a substantial amount of weight through daily intensive exercise and dieting. (The father’s) weight loss regime is itself a full-time job. So is parenting two high-needs children. One will inevitably have to give ground to the other.

The judge noted child-welfare workers’ concerns, saying, “His weight loss depends on an intensive daily exercise program. Parenting responsibilities will likely make it much more difficult for him to maintain his exercise schedule. He would be a single parent to two high-needs children in circumstances where a skilled, two-parent family would be challenged to cope.”

The judge has now ruled that the boys be put up for adoption.

Both boys are in foster care, one in a home run by a single mother with five other children.

The judge noted that the father never abused the children and used to run two businesses — a marijuana grow-op and a lucrative computer business.

“I can’t believe the judge called me extremely overweight. The judge didn’t take into account how much I had lost on my own,” said the father, who can’t be named because of a publication ban.

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 is ready to starve himself to death protest the judge’s ruling.

“The whole country will see exactly how serious I am.”

In a court-ordered assessment, a doctor noted the father’s weight as a problem to be a parent.

“Finally, (the father) has struggled with obesity for years, which impacts significantly on most aspects of his life including (his) functioning as a parent. He was short of breath or winded in simply walking short distances about the clinic and he lacks both the mobility and stamina required to keep up with young and active children.

“Once again, (the father’s) strong personal beliefs on issues, including weight loss, make it difficult for him to accept the opinions of specialists on such matters,” the doctor wrote in the assessment report.

The doctor continued: “(The father) needs to address his own medical and psychological affairs. These would include his cannabis addiction and his level of physical fitness.”

According to court filings, a doctor had recommended the sometimes deadly “obesity surgery,” but the man declined and instead “had his own approach to weight loss.”

“Quite frankly,” a doctor wrote, “I do not believe he followed through with even one of our dietary recommendations.”

“Regardless of how much weight (the father) may have lost to date, he will continue to be at risk related to his obesity for some considerable time. This will include not only his risk for major life threatening events, but also a lack of mobility and proneness to injury as was exemplified by (the father’s) hobbling around on crutches when last seen individually. (The father’s) health issues are magnified by his anti-authoritarian traits and refusal to follow recommended treatments. This also raises questions to his ability to make proper decisions in regards to his sons’ medical, educational or psychological needs.”

The father, who hasn’t seen his boys in a year, says, “I was never too fat to be a dad.”

The Child and Family Services Act prohibits the Citizen from identifying the father or his children.


On Twitter:@crimegarden

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Country Canada has turned into a police state, with the Nazi Children’s Aid stealing our children. If this parent was a female would these children have been stolen? No, I have seen children living in disgusting conditions and still the children are not stolen from them.

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