In The News
Fit To Stand Trial: 8-Year-Old Taken From Mother For Being Overweight
An 8 year old Cleveland, Ohio boy was removed from his family over weight. The third grader is considered severely obese at more than 200 pounds. County case workers had the honor student removed from his mother because the child is overweight.
The state stepped in when the child’s mother attempted to get him medical care for a breathing issue which was believed to be brought on by his extreme weight. After working with the mother for one year the state had the child removed from her care citing medical neglect because the child’s weight had not gone down.
The mother who had enrolled her child into several programs including the Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital program called Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight stated that her child initially began to lose weight but later regained it. Now we all realize that we do not have all of the details of this case. Only what has been shared with the media. And of course childhood obesity should be of utmost concern to parents, medical professionals and the community at large.
But did the state go too far in removing this child from his parents' care? We live in a nation that now has more overweight adults than average weight adults. Weight is an issue that is a struggle and concern for both adults and children. But the state’s approach in this case leaves me scratching my head.
Being overweight is not only a physical condition but it can be a mental issue as well. Now this child who has struggled with the issue of weight unsuccessfully most of his life now is in a situation where he may not be returned to his parents unless he does lose the weight. What does that do to a child emotionally? Lawyers for the mother state that the state overreached and that her child was in no imminent danger.
But the states actions immediately put the child in a position where weight may now be a lifelong mental issue. The foster family that the child was placed with is now having difficulty keeping up with all of the child’s doctor appointments. So the state is trying to provide more aid to the foster family and is looking into getting them a personal trainer to help with the child. Why weren’t these same benefits offered to the child’s mother?
Is there is an underlying medical condition predisposing this child to being obese? Another mother whose 3 year old was removed when the child weighed 90 pounds recently spoke out. The child was removed from her mother’s care and was eventually returned when her condition did not approve in foster care. She was later diagnosed with a genetic predisposition. Next month on the Ohio boy’s ninth birthday a trial will be held to determine who should keep the boy.
What do you think about this issue?