The Biggest Loser kicks off again tomorrow. So, let’s talk fat (and dream about Dolvett).
Most of you know I work in the field of international adoptions when I’m not talking trash on this blog. Recently, I’ve learned some new stuff. Did you know that to adopt from China you cannot have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or greater? This was a new policy beginning in 2007.
In looking at charts, a BMI of 40 means being 5’ 4” and weighing 235 lbs. or more. Or being 6’ and weighing 294 lbs. or more. This goes for either male or female applicants. Yep, that is kind of large.
When countries allow for “their” children to be adopted, they can make any stipulations they want about the applicants. In fact, any country can outrightly refuse to allow international adoptions, and many do. Basically, they can pick and choose.
On one hand, doesn’t it make sense that a country, in the best interests of its children, would not permit someone who is “morbidly obese” (this is how the chart labels those with BMI or higher) to adopt? We all know that obesity leads to many chronic and life threatening health and medical conditions. Just like the powers that be might not want someone with a life threatening disease to adopt a child, they might not want someone with such a high BMI to adopt a child. In addition, does China think that an applicant’s obesity sets a bad example for eating and exercise habits?
Conversely, does being obese mean you are not fit to be a parent? There are many extremely overweight people who are extremely effective parents. Yes, their lives may be at risk or cut short due to obesity-related conditions. Yes, they might not be able to physically do things with their kids as people who weigh less can. And, yes, one might question what kind of example is being set.
Because the “what if” game is fun - what if the applicant was on a strict weight loss and exercise plan, but had not reached their goal yet? Would that change your perspective? Don’t you think most children would prefer to be with parents who are overweight vs. remaining in an orphanage forever?
In the US, there are no weight restrictions put on adoption applicants. It is necessary, however, that applicants “be in good health.” Is it possible to “be in good health” with a BMI of 40 or above?
Do you agree that being obese should prohibit you from being able to adopt? Does being overweight to the point that it affects your health make you less of a “good” parent?