April 9, 2010
British social workers took a toddler into custody after his parents refused to feed him junk food.
Paul and Lisa Hessey of Bolsover, England, took their two-year-old son Zak to a doctor when he began refusing to eat his mother’s cooking and dropped to 17 pounds.
“I thought I was … going to the best people for advice when Zak began to lose weight,” his mother said. “Instead they basically accused me of neglecting him and implied it was all my fault.”
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Doctors advised Zak’s parents to feed him junk food in order to stem his weight loss. His parents, firm believers in healthy eating, refused.
“I have four other children and they are perfectly healthy, it was just that Zak was refusing food for some reason,” his mother said. “They said I should just feed Zak chocolate, cakes and junk food just to get calories into him. But I objected, saying that was only a short-term answer and not a proper solution.”
The Hesseys were then informed that social services was going to take Zak into custody.
“They kept saying, ‘If you love Zak and you want the best for him then you’ll agree to this,’ Lisa Hessey said.” They said we had been negative about eating.”
According to Mrs. Hessey, the social workers also said, “You have legal rights but be warned if you oppose this we will go straight to court and have all your parental rights taken away.”
Intimidated, the Hesseys did not object. They were barred from seeing their son until they hired a lawyer and secured one three-hour accompanied visit per day. After four weeks of battling in court, the Hesseys won the return of their son. In spite of being fed junk food while in state custody, Zak had gained only one pound.
“The government and doctors are always drumming into parents the importance of healthy eating — yet they were telling us to feed Zak all the wrong things,” Mrs. Hessey said. “That is obviously what they were doing when he was in foster care so now it is hard to get him to eat anything else.”
Sources for this story include: www.dailymail.co.uk.