Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Adoption Refused Due to Overweight Caregiver?

Story Courtesy of Fox News

"There are thousands of children that need loving families and a married couple said they can provide a great home to a child.But a Metro man said he is being discriminated against because he is overweight.Gary and Cynthia Stocklaufer said they were asked to adopt a relative's son and never expected the justice system to weigh in on Gary's size."I adore him, I love him, he's everything," Cynthia said about three-month old Max, the biological son of Gary's cousin.Gary said his relative asked him and his wife Cynthia to raise the boy because she couldn't. "We wanted to do it legally and we wanted to get some type of custody so we could get him on our insurance," Cynthia said.

What Cynthia and Gary thought was a easy adoption turned into what they're calling "a degrading ordeal.""They came right out and told us that Gary's weight was an issue," Cynthia said. Gary said he weighs around 500 pounds but it hasn't stopped him from working as a truck driver or playing with his 7-year-old son Bobby, who they also adopted. "I've been big all my life and my family is large and we've adopted once before the same judge and I am the same size that I was approximately six years ago when I adopted my other son," Gary said.Cheri Simpkins, the baby's court appointed guardian said weight was not the only concern in this case.

While Simpkins said she can't talk specifics, she went on to say "there was concern that Gary may develop diabetes or sleep apnea because of his size.""My weight has never kept me from doing anything I've wanted to do," Gary said."Size doesn't dictate the kind of parent that you are," Cynthia said. "We're good people."Gary said he's lost 35 pounds and he's trying to lose more. The couple said their attorney has filed a motion for a new hearing and said they'll do whatever it takes to get their son back."

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