Appears the same thing is happening in England, where the Leeds City Council informed Damien and Charlotte Hall: Sorry. No can do. You're morbidly obese. You cannot adopt.
Damien, at 24 1/2 stone (343 pounds), is 6'1". His Body Mass Index (BMI) is 42+, and the council told him he must reduce it to below 40 "because of a risk he could become ill or even die."
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, people are considered obese when their BMI is greater than or equal to 30 and overweight if their BMI is from 25 to 29.9. A person is considered morbidly obese when the BMI is over 40. The BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height
and waist circumference and measures abdominal fat.
We all know that obesity puts one at higher risk for a host of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance syndrome, stroke, fatty liver disease, gallblader disease, musculoskeletal disorders, breathing problems–even some types of cancer.
With so many folks falling into the "overweight" and "morbidly obese" range these days, it's a wonder anyone is allowed to adopt. Sixty percent of Americans are overweight, and 40 percent of
those are obese, says David Murdock, owner of Dole Food Company (from
Costco Connection magazine).
I feel for Damien and Charlotte. Because of fertility challenges, they are unable to birth a child. Because of weight challenges, they are unable at this time to adopt one. I understand that adoption agencies want parents who are healthy (physically and emotionally) and who have a good chance of living to see their child grow to adulthood.
But Charlotte and Damien have been married 11 years and been a couple for 14 (a good sign that they're stable and relatively content). They don't drink or smoke. They have good jobs. Damien says, "I'm not a couch potato and I don't sit eating takeaways every night. I
just feel as though we were only judged on my weight and not all the
other good things about us."
When there are so many children out there waiting to be adopted, I hate seeing prospective parents' worth being based on weight alone.
I'm torn on this one, readers. What do you think? How much "weight" should be given to one's weight when determining their readiness to adopt?
Would you be allowed to adopt, based on your weight? Calculate your BMI and see if you'd qualify: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/