A father who weighs 360 pounds claims has lost custody of his two sons – after a doctor told the courts he was too overweight to take care of them.
The 38-year-old man, from Ottawa, Canada, lost his year-long court battle to keep his sons, aged five and six, on Wednesday.
A judge ruled the boys would be put up for adoption, claiming the man would have struggled to keep up with his daily weight-loss program as well as caring for his the children.
It came after a doctor found the man could not keep up with the ‘energetic’ children during a court-ordered assessment of his health.
The boys were put in foster care last year, when the man’s ex-wife was hospitalised for a mental breakdown and suspected overdose.
The man, who cannot be named under the Child and Family Services Act, had not seen either of his them for more than a year.
In that time, he has lost 150 pounds, he said.
Superior Court Justice M. James ruled: ‘(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.’
He said his decision was also based upon the man’s former marijuana use and documented violent outbursts.
He noted that the man, who, did not know his own strength, had never hurt his children.
The man told the Ottawa Citizen: ‘I can’t believe the judge called me extremely overweight. The judge didn’t take into account how much I had lost.’
He went on: ‘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.’
The ruling comes after a doctor at the Royal Ottawa Hospital’s family court clinic said he was concerned the man’s size could hinder his ability to care for the boys.
The doctor noted in his report: ‘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.’
Before the judge’s ruling, the man told CTV he believes the court case has bad implications for his health.
‘I am a stress eater,’ he said. ‘Having them in my life would cause stress, but not having them in my life would cause even more stress.’
He added: ‘I’m a passionate man, I love my kids, just want a single chance to be a father, that’s it.’
The Royal Ottawa Hospital would not comment on the case.