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Too Fat to Adopt

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Radical Mommy: Here's why I think there should be weight restrictions on people adopting a kid.

A fat man sitting on a bench

I recently read a story about a British couple, Damien and Charlotte Hall, who applied to adopt a child but were denied because the husband is 6-foot-1 and weighs a whopping 343 pounds with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 42. Basically, the adoption authority told him he is too fat to adopt.

At first I couldn't believe my eyes, and then it finally sunk in. Finally! Someone with some sense had stopped the needless spread of obesity by denying their request and not letting this man (and his chubby wife) get his hands on a child and doing the same thing to him or her that he's done to himself.

In case you're thinking to yourself, "He's not THAT big," let me fill you in on a few body fat facts. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Hall's BMI was not "just" above 42 ... it was a whopping 45.2.

So you know, a normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 (144-188 lbs), an overweight BMI is 25-29.9 (189-227 lbs), and an obese BMI is anything above 30 (227 lbs). So, to me, the fact that Hill, 37, is a gargantuan 15.2 points, and 100+ pounds ABOVE an obese BMI is shocking.

Now I know all you (fat) bleeding hearts out there are cursing the ground I walk on (again) but before you go any further, I want to ask a question. Would you let someone with terminal cancer adopt a child? NO. Why? Because, should the person (who I'm sure is a loving and deserving parent) die, then that child will be left alone AGAIN! And it is not in the best interest of any child to be knowingly placed into a home where a parent might die at an early age.

In case that didn't convince you, then let me ask you another question. Would you let someone with a drug or alcohol addiction adopt a child? NO. Why? Because living with someone who has an addiction, any addiction, is not healthy.

Once again, I know you're saying to yourself, "This woman is crazy -- how can she liken obesity to drug addiction?" Well, let me tell you how, people. People who are obese are so because they eat too damn much -- no other reason. I don't want to hear, "Oh it's genetic, oh I have a slow thyroid" or any other such bullsh**t. The fact is that only about 2% of all obesity is a result of genetics or illness -- the rest is a result of purely and simply stuffing too much food in your face. END OF STORY!!!

No one on this earth can tell me that they are actually happy being overweight. Yeah, you might accept it and tell yourself, "Oh, I love myself, I'm fine the way I am." Well, I think that is nonsense. How can you love yourself when all you see in the mirror is double chins, rolls of fat, and quite literally the picture of unhealthiness? If you do, you're in denial.

Also, there's the fact that parents with serious weight issues (and I'm not just talking about being 20-30 pounds overweight here) more often than not pass unhealthy eating habits AND obesity on to their kids. That to me is abusive -- and you would never let a family knowingly adopt a child if they were going to be abused. Would you?

Don't worry, though. In a letter, the adoption authority told the couple that Damien's BMI must be below 40 before the couple could even be considered as potential parents because of the risk that he could get sick -- or even die due to his weight. Basically that means that all he has to do is drop 30 pounds and then they will be eligible to adopt. This is something I don't particularly agree with since he will still be VERY obese.

Now, I'm not saying that this man and woman are bad people, and I'm not saying that I don't think that they wouldn't make amazing parents, because they probably will. All I'm saying is that there should be rules about how fat you can be when it comes to adopting (and maybe even having) kids.

Who agrees with me? Comment in the momlogic community.


next: Before You Go "Down There," Read This!
47 comments so far | Post a comment now
anon January 15, 2009, 11:17 AM

wow, the ignorance of certain people never ceases to amaze me. didnt your parents ever teach you if you dont have anything nice to say then keep your mouth shut?

sue January 15, 2009, 11:29 AM

Gee Jane, you obviously have a problem with fat people. Did one pick on you when you were a kid? If you had half a brain you would know that genetics plays a big part in obesity and that skinny people can have just as bad or worse eating habits than fat people but because of genetics they don’t tend to gain weight. It’s people like you who shouldn’t be allowed to procreate..ignorance is passed on just as easily as bad eating habits.

Lisa Belanga January 15, 2009, 11:45 AM

I think an important thing to remember here is that overeating is a form of addiction that is obviously due to emotional issues. Wouldn’t it be better for this man and his wife to get emotionally healthy as well as physically healthy before the arrival of a child into the home? Most everyone at some time or other has some extra pounds to lose, due to health issues, stress, some other major life transition. But a lot of those people recognize earlier on that they are putting on some weight and try to keep themselves in check before it gets out of control. When I see an obese person I feel bad, because to me it signifies that that person is in need of only of learning to care for themselves and some help recognizing why they are overeating. They shouldn’t be demoralized because they have this addiction; it’s like any other, it just needs to be dealt with like it is just that: an addiction.

birdsfly January 15, 2009, 12:29 PM

I think this ruling is less about the child becoming obese and more along the same reasoning as blocking the elderly from adopting: poorer health and reduced life expectancy.

Anonymous January 18, 2009, 11:53 PM

Amber: you have underweight children and you DON’T feed them red meat?
someone needs to read a book on nutrition.

Madyson January 19, 2009, 1:04 PM

The man is in Obese Class III. Which does in fact put him at greater risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Not to mention the stress that it puts on his joints. Including his back. There are multiple classes on the BMI scale in case no one knows. For more info you can go here:
http://www.who.int/bmi/index.jsp?introPage=intro_3.html

Anonymous February 4, 2009, 4:50 PM

As with many of the others commenting, I agree that agencies need to equally assess all medical issues and addictions before permitting a family to adopt. On the issue of weight loss -Although I see Jayne’s blog as a bit heated, extreme obesity can be life threatening. There are a number of factors other than the promotion of healthy eating. Does the said parent have the energy and stamina needed to care for a child? Will the child get enough exercise, ect? Therefore, I understand the decision to ask the parent to lose the weight.

allison February 15, 2009, 4:25 PM

My mother weighs 90 pounds (on a fat day). My father weighs 125. I’m 40 pounds overweight. According to the logic of the nutcase who wrote this article, this could not possibly have happened. Oh, and both my kids are very thin. I do not allow soda except when eating out, which is rare. I serve a fruit or vegetable with every meal. I do not fry anything or keep any snacks in the house except for fruit,veggies,popcorn, and goldfish. My skinny parents keep multiple bags of chips on hand and my mom has an entire Dutch oven filled with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bars. Both my grandmothers were chubby, however. I really don’t think this was because oft them eating too much McDonalds, as one was born in 1890 and the other in 1900.

Laura July 2, 2009, 12:53 AM

Hi webmaster!.
I am from Luxembourg and bad know English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “First of all, it is possible to find very good deals at the berkeley flea market.”

THX ;-), Laura.

Vachel September 6, 2009, 12:38 PM

Greeting. He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
I am from Australia and bad know English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Easy record markets have some of these places: markets in corporate derivatives are, in most brokers, based to be re-entrant shares who will be open of the $100 markets of these securities.”

With respect :(, Vachel.

Shelley September 10, 2009, 11:10 PM

Sorry. I was not a child prodigy, because a child prodigy is a child who knows as much when it is a child as it does when it grows up.
I am from Bosnia and now study English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Sexual wallet’s personality is earning throughout the laced loss.”

Best regards ;), Shelley.

Logic October 16, 2009, 9:17 PM

This is worded awfully. Yes-anyone with a terminal illness or known shorter life span should not be adopting children. Are smokers allowed to adopt children? They’re more likely to get cancer. Are alcoholics allowed to adopt children? They will have liver failure much sooner, and possibly be a dead-beat more than a fat guy.
Just sayin.

Solskin June 13, 2010, 7:54 PM

I think you are brave and had some excellent points. Everyone who is beating you up for your statements is probably overweight themselves but the type who deny any fault of their own. Addiction is addiction and is a clear, indisputable sign of mental/emotional issues. X-L people just don’t want to be lumped in with “addicts” because they might then have to acknowledge they have a problem. The difference is that usually those who are chemically addicted admit the problem whereas the obese blame everyone else for their problem.
Good Job!

Rachel November 4, 2010, 11:54 AM

Oh you horrible person. You may not agree with larger people adopting children but do you have to be so mean?

You have issues and I kinda hope you get fat :)

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