Overweight trucker loses foster son

| 7/30/2007

Weighing in at close to 500 pounds, OOIDA member Gary Stocklaufer of Independence, MO, knows he’s overweight.

But that hasn’t stopped him from helping his wife, Cynthia, raise their 7-year-old adopted son, Bobby.

That’s why the couple was amazed recently when they tried to adopt Max, the baby of a cousin who couldn’t care for him.

Instead of getting the quick approval they expected, a state judge ruled that Stocklaufer is unfit for foster parenthood because of his weight and took Max out of the couple’s home, where he had been living for three months.

“I think it’s blatant discrimination against myself. Size should never have been an issue,” Stocklaufer said. “It wasn’t an issue six years ago when I was the same size and it was the same judge that let me adopt my other son.”

Stocklaufer said he believes his career is another way he’s being discriminated against in the case.

“Now that I’m a full-time over-the-road truck driver, they say that’s another key factor; that my wife’s basically a single parent because I’m never home. And that’s not the case,” the trucker said.

Stocklaufer said his lawyer is filing for a rehearing.

– By Reed Black, staff writer