We're getting used - alas - to the idea that smokers will not be allowed to adopt children (abuse!) but, as always, that proves to be but the beginning, not the end of this sort of thing. To wit, a couple in Leeds have had their application to adopt denied on the grounds that the husband is, wait for it, too fat. Leeds Council writes:
I am writing to confirm that we are unable to progress an application from you at this time.
This is due to the concerns that the medical advisers have expressed regarding Mr Hall's weight.
I have discussed this with our medical adviser... who considers that it is important to alter lifestyle, diet and exercise in a sustainable way so that any weight reduction can be maintained in the long term.
I understand that you would like to begin the assessment as soon as possible and while appreciating your reasons for this, I consider it would be more appropriate to begin the assessment once Mr Hall's BMI is below 40.
At 24 stone Mr Hall may indeed be carrying more weight than might be considered ideal (though in photographs and this BBC interview he doesn't seem monstrously lardy) but that's not the point is it? This is grotesque: the behaviour of a capricious bureaucracy that revels in increasing human misery. Tellingly, the child's interests cannot be factored into the adoption equation. That would be to make it a sane, sensible, humane system. Instead there's the needless infliction of suffering simply because said suffering can be inflicted at next to no cost to the petty, tinpot sadists who enjoy messing with people like this. They do it because they can; the more troubling question is why we permit them to.
[Via, Adam Smith Institute]