Utah Judge Reverses Order To Take Foster Child Away From Gay Couple

In a state where gay marriage is legal, why was this lesbian couple not allowed to take in a foster child?


The Utah judge reversed his order to keep a 9-month-old baby away from a lesbian couple on Friday after an astounding amount of support rallied behind them. 

The Division of Child and Family Services and the couple's attorney filed documents against the judge on Thursday demanding he reverse his decision. 

“We had no reason to want to move the child. We’re going to look at options to keep the child there – there’s no reason not to," Brent Platt, director of the Division of Child and Family Services, told BuzzFeed News. 

“If you’re licensed and you’re qualified, and you’re a good fit, we’re going to place a kid with you,” he said.

This is Kim Davis all over again.

Utah couple Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland tied the knot last year. After gay marriage was legalized across the nation in summer, their marriage was also, of course, approved.

After the Utah child services officials granted them a license to adopt a child, they welcomed into their family a 1-year-old girl who joined their two biological children. The adoption was approved by the infant’s biological mother and everything was in place until a Utah judge brought all their dreams to an end.

Judge Scott Johansen ordered that the baby girl's removal from her foster home because, apparently, “children do better in households with heterosexual parents.”

Hoagland said the decision was “heartbreaking.”

“I was kind of caught off guard because I didn’t think anything like that would happen anymore,” she told KUTV. “… It’s not fair, and it’s not right, and it hurts me really badly because I haven’t done anything wrong.”

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A copy of the court order was not made available though the Salt Lake Tribune has confirmed what it said.  According to Hoagland,  Johansen said he did some research on his own and found that kids in homosexual families don’t do as well as they do in heterosexual homes.

However, when the judge was asked to show the research, he wouldn’t.

Although the judge isn't commenting on his decision, it seems like it was driven by religious beliefs. Johansen attended law school at Brigham Young University, which is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Only last week, the Mormon church voted to exclude children of same-sex couples until they were adults, calling gay parents and their children apostates. The ruling against Peirce and Hoagland’s fits right in with this line of thinking. 

It is indeed unfair that a child who deserves a loving home is taken away from one simply because of a judge’s personal beliefs. In a place where gay marriage is legalized and the biological mother of the child is happy with the home her girl has found, this couple should not have had to give up their child.

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