Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US mother wins back custody of obese boy

11 May 2012, 11:44

Cleveland - An Ohio juvenile court judge removed a protective order on Thursday in the case of a third-grader who was taken from his mother's custody last October after he tipped the scales at 99kg.

Juvenile court judge David Stucki ruled in favour of a mother's petition to permanently restore the boy to her custody and to close the boy's case with the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services.

Social workers were alerted to the child's medical situation in March 2010 when the boy, then 7-years-old, was hospitalised for two weeks with severe breathing problems.

He was removed from his home by court order in October 2011 after more than a year of supervision, and was eventually sent to live with an uncle in Columbus until 23 April when he returned to supervised-custody with his mother.

The boy is now 9-years-old and weighs 78kg, up from a low of 75kg before he returned to his mother's home.

Representatives for the county did not fight the mother's motion for the return of her son in court on Thursday, and the Department of Children and Family Services now has no legal rights or responsibilities as to the boy's living situation.

Cooking classes

"It is the right thing to do at this time. The best interest of the child has been protected and supported. The system worked," Stucki told attorneys after making his ruling.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney James Hardiman, who represented the mother, told the judge that since returning to Cleveland the boy has received a free membership to a local YMCA, a Big Brother assignment through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters programme and the county will pay for half of the cost of weekly cooking classes for his family.

"We are happy the county terminated protective services. We think the case was ill-advised," Hardiman said. "Our plan was to get him out of the system as soon as possible. This whole thing has been about his weight with no concern to his emotional state."

Medical professionals, prior to his removal from his mother, had concluded that the boy's weight gain was due to his diet and not other medical reasons. This is the first time an Ohio child had been removed from a parent's custody primarily due to weight concerns.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, about 17% children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese, as opposed to merely overweight.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...