A Utah juvenile court judge has ordered a baby taken away from a lesbian couple and placed with a heterosexual couple for the “child’s well-being”.
Judge Scott Johansen ordered for the one year-old infant to be taken away from parents April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce during a routine hearing on Tuesday. The Utah Division of Child and Family Services plan to review the order and assess options for possibly challenging the order.
Peirce and Hoagland became eligible to be foster parents after the landmark same-sex marriage ruling by the Supreme Court this past June. They are one of many same-sex married couples in the state to foster children.
The parents have said that they are “shattered” after receiving the news – which means the baby they have been caring for over the past three months will be taken away from them within a week.
The couple believe that the presiding judge acted on his religious beliefs, and cited unfounded research that claims children do better when raised by heterosexual parents.
“We are shattered,” Hoagland told local news. “It hurts me really badly because I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“We love her and she loves us, and we haven’t done anything wrong. And the law, as I understand it, reads that any legally married couple can foster and adopt.”
Chad Griffin, President of LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, commented, “Removing a child from a loving home simply because the parents are LGBT is outrageous, shocking, and unjust. It also flies in the face of overwhelming evidence that children being raised by same-sex parents are just as healthy and well-adjusted as those with different-sex parents.
:At a time when so many children in foster care need loving homes, it is sickening to think that a child would be taken from caring parents who planned to adopt.”