An 8-year-old, 3rd grade boy was recently removed from his home and placed into foster care by authorities in Ohio mainly because of his weight. At 200 pounds, the boy is considered by medical professionals to be obese and subject to hypertension, diabetes, and a myriad of other weight-related healthy issues.
[A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Family Services] said that the child’s weight gain was caused by his environment and that the mother wasn’t following doctor’s orders — which she disputes.
“This child’s problem was so severe that we had to take custody,” Madigan said. The agency worked with the mother for more than a year before asking Juvenile Court for custody of the child, she said.
Lawyers for the mother, a substitute elementary school teacher who is also taking vocational school classes, think the county has overreached in this case by arguing that medical conditions the boy is at risk for — but doesn’t yet have — pose an imminent danger to his health.
They question whether the emotional impact of being yanked from his family, school and friends was also considered.
“I think we would concede that some intervention is appropriate,” Juvenile Public Defender Sam Amata said. “But what risk became imminent? When did it become an immediate problem?”
Children are ordinarily removed from their homes for physical abuse, neglect or undernourishment.
But we ask, is it the government’s responsibility and right to take a child away from his/her parents and placed into the foster care system because of their weight? Is it considered abuse to have an overweight child?
source Cleveland.com; image via Fuzzy Gerds