- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man who claimed his obesity kept him from being allowed to adopt a baby will be allowed custody of the child while he and his wife move forward with adoption, a judge ruled yesterday.

Gary Stocklaufer and his wife, Cindy, were awarded custody of 8-month-old baby Max at a hearing before Circuit Court Judge John R. O’Malley. The child has been in the custody of another couple, who also have been trying to adopt him.

The Stocklaufers’ case gained national attention after the couple said they were denied a petition to adopt the child because Mr. Stocklaufer weighed 550 pounds. He had gastric-bypass surgery in August and has lost about 200 pounds.

Last month, Judge O’Malley gave the Stocklaufers temporary custody and said the decision by another judge to remove Max from their home was related to Stocklaufers not following procedures when moving Max into Missouri from another state, not Mr. Stocklaufer’s weight.

In his ruling, Judge O’Malley said it is “in the child’s best interest” that the Stocklaufers “be permitted to adopt him” and ordered the other couple to hand over Max that day.

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