Via Wicked Anomie, odd older news from Australia:

WOULD-BE mother Kylie Lannigan has been told she is too fat to adopt a child.

Mrs Lannigan, 29, and husband, Dave, 37, are devastated after complying with three years of bureaucracy to become eligible.

Mrs Lannigan, who is 170cm tall and weighs 126kg, lost 12kg in recent weeks. She was told to lose another 40kg.

"They (two Department of Human Services adoption counsellors) came to see us for a second visit," Mrs Lannigan said. And one of the women said everything was looking good and we would be wonderful parents, but that my weight was holding me back from adopting. "They gave me a BMI (body mass index) chart.

"They said, 'You are here' and drew a dot on the chart and then said, 'When you get to here (85kg) give us a ring' and they would come and start the assessment again.

"By the time I get down to that weight I will be too old - they're asking me to lose more than 50kg."

The Seymour couple said their application had not been refused, but suspended. "I was disappointed when they said it," Mr Lannigan said. "It's discrimination."
She has polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can lead to weight gain and difficulties getting pregnant.
The Lannigans attended an information seminar in Melbourne and completed an adoption training program. They had medical, police and finance checks and a home assessment.

"When we went to the seminar three years ago, I asked if my weight would be an issue and they said that was not a factor, but that my health might be," she said.

"I walk to work (...) everyday. I have been tested for heart disease and diabetes and I am OK. I am counting calories, doing the best I can."

The article does not contain any statement from an agency spokesperson, but the only reason for this I can think of is that they are afraid a mother that lacks the discipline to lose weight will raise a fat child, thus endangering his or her health.

But get this:

The nature of environmental influences on individual differences in weight and obesity is presently unclear. To resolve this issue, behavior genetic studies are reviewed for their relevance to environmental influences on weight and obesity. Results are consistent in suggesting that environmental experiences are important for weight and obesity, although they account for much less variation than do the effects of genes. Furthermore, only environmental experiences that are not shared among family members appear to be important; In contrast, experiences that are shared among family members appear largely irrevelant in determining individual differences in weight and obesity
In other words, the correlation between parents’ and childrens’ obesity seems to be entirely due to genetics and have nothing to do with nurture.

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