Video: Child Removal From Home for Obesity Is a Heavy Penalty
Last year authorities removed an 8-year-old boy from his home in Cleveland and placed him in foster care because county officials said the mother was not doing enough to control the child’s weight. At the time the boy was seized, he weighed more than 200 pounds. The case has ignited a debate about whether extreme childhood obesity should be reason enough to remove a child from his family.
“Obesity, especially when medical intervention is necessary, makes this a hot-button issue as of late,” reports Grant Varner, a family law attorney in South Carolina.
Child services and family courts are looking more closely at your home environment to make sure your child isn’t exposed to cigarette smoke or food that is bad for them, causing obesity.
Typically in the US, a state or federal agency is attempting to remove a child or make allegations of abuse against parents. “They’re trying to protect children; arguably, the job of mom and dad.”
Who Makes the Final Removal Decision?
A family court judge makes the final decision to remove a child from the home in South Carolina.
The judge takes many factors into consideration in obesity cases, including if that parent can move forward with the ability to teach and instill the child about how to be a happy, healthy, productive member of society.
The court will also consider whether the child learn to eat healthy, nutritional meals, can keep the weight off and be physically active and care for themselves.
Can the Parents Get a Second Chance?
Varner answers, “I dare say yes. You can always ask, and frequently judges are inclined to give you a second chance because it is a heavy penalty to remove a child from a home.”