Child custody case examines if neglect has contributed to dwarfism

An Oklahoma child custody case has grabbed headlines because of its possible link to a rare dwarfism disease.

According to a feature in the Tulsa World newspaper, a state court in Oklahoma is currently considering whether to remove an 11-year-old boy from his mother’s house. The boy’s father is seeking custody.

The 11-year-old boy at the center of the case is about the size of a 7-year-old. According to court records, the boy may be suffering from a condition known as psychosocial dwarfism, a disorder in which children stop growing because of emotional neglect and other factors.

According to the story, the boy’s 10-year-old sister has made her own allegations of abuse. Both children, though, are still living with their mother, even though doctors have recommended that both be removed.

The 11-year-old boy stands about 48 inches tall, nine inches shorter than the 57 inches in height he should have reached by now. Doctors have said that if the factors causing this condition are not eliminated, the boy could lose 10 inches off his predicted adult height.

A trial to modify the child custody arrangements was scheduled to start in mid-February in Oklahoma’s Delaware County District Court.

The father involved in the case told the Tulsa World that he has been fighting for custody of his children since 2004, back when his ex-wife first filed for divorce. The former couple had joint physical custody until the father had to move across the state for a new job in 2005. At that point, the ex-wife had sole physical custody.

Stay tuned for updates from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about child custody, visitation or parental rights, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Tulsa World, “Dwarfism linked to neglect: Oklahoma child’s health at the center of custody battle” Feb. 3, 2012