Monday, January 19, 2009

Too Fat To Adopt?

Adopting a child can be a very daunting task. I’m not talking about parenting an adopted child, but rather, the process of being approved to adopt and then finding a child. Potential parents can have no secrets. Your adoption worker and their agency are going to want to know what your salary is, your bank account information, what type of house you live in, your psychological history, what at least three of your friends think about you, whether you have ever been convicted of any crime and especially crimes against children, and your health history.

It’s a good thing that all my adoptions happened before I was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I don’t know if I could have gotten approved had those conditions been diagnosed prior to my wanting to adopt a child. I honestly cannot imagine what my life would be like if Ashley, Jessica and Corey were not in it. So I wonder what would have happened if my health had not appeared perfect.

A family in the UK doesn’t have to wonder. Although they passed almost every investigation of their adoption agency, they have been denied the right to adopt. Why? Because someone feels the husband is too fat. Here is a link to the news story.

And this is not a one-time occurrence. A woman in Australia also was denied the right to adopt because she was considered obese. Here is a link to that story.

How do you feel about these stories? Is it better for a child to stay ‘in the system’ instead of with a Mom and a Dad, one of whom is considered obese?

My question is who decides which medical conditions are deemed ok for an adoptive parent and which are not?

Thankfully, in my case, my diagnoses weren’t present during my adoption home studies. I know I am prejudiced, but I can’t imagine anyone being a more suitable and loving parent to my three special adopted children than I have been. It worries me that the families in the two stories above may never have the chance to say the same thing.


Amazing_Grace said...

Oh, my gosh! This is so wrong! :(

Next they will say that you can't adopt because you are ugly. Grrrrrrrrrr.

Terri said...

A flawed parent?? Who could survive such a thing? . I hope that's a social worker that gets hoisted on their own petard at some point. I choose a parent (who is good on the things that matter) over a child being raised by any system... What are they thinking??

Allie said...

Sad isn't it in so many aspects. Here we as a society are turning away loving people who could give the world to a beautiful child due to an opinion of being "overweight" and yet we wonder why the youth today are so fixated on appearance and weight.

I seriously doubt a child who is looking for a loving home would care one bit as to what their potential parents looked like.

Michelle Morgan-Coole said...

That's a new one to me. Makes me wonder if there isn't a real discrimination claim lurking in their somewhere.

The end of the day test (in Canada, at least) has to be the best interets of the child, but without proof that the parent's weight will somehow be harmful to the child (and with empirical evidence to the contrary, at least from the articles), it seems to me that it would be really hard to justify using weight as a grounds of excluding people. Then again, I have no clue how much 24-stone actually is...

Michelle Morgan-Coole said...

A Primer on Special Needs and the Law linked to this post:

"So how about obesity (with it's related health issues) being used to exclude perspective adoptive parents who have otherwise passed on all the tests and screening mechanisms?

Ashley's Mom, at Pipecleaner Dreams, tells of two different cases, one in the UK and one in Australia... "