A married couple has spoken of its shock after being turned down to adopt on the grounds that one of them is too fat.

Damien and Charlotte Hall approached Leeds City Council in West Yorkshire, England, about adoption after discovering that they were unable to have children of their own.

They were told that Hall’s size, at 6-foot-1, 343 pounds, made him morbidly obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 42.

In a letter, the council told the couple his BMI must be below 40 before the couple could be considered as potential parents because of a risk he could become ill or even die.

“I am writing to confirm that we are unable to progress an application from you at this time. This is due to the concerns that the medical advisers have expressed regarding Mr. Hall’s weight,” the council wrote.

The couple, who have been married for 11 years, said they felt the ruling was harsh.

“The bottom line is I’m too fat. I just feel as though we were only judged on my weight and not all the other good things about us," said Hall, 37, who works in a call center.

“We don’t drink or smoke and we could give a child a happy and safe home.”

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat and health risks. If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, you're considered in a healthy weight range for your height. If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you're considered overweight. And, if the figure is 30 or greater, you're considered obese, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Click here to calculate your BMI.

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