Utah to fight judge’s decision to remove foster child from lesbian couple
State officials in Utah are challenging a decision by a judge to take away a foster child from a lesbian couple.
The Division of Child and Family Services on Thursday said in a statement that officials would fight the decision if Judge Scott Johansen does not rescind his decision.
Utah officials said the judge had gone against recommendations that the 9-month-old child should stay with the couple.
April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce – from Utah – are married with two children. The pair had also been hoping to adopt the one-year-old girl they had been fostering for three months.
However, a judge has ordered the Department of Child and Family Services to remove the child from their care within seven days.
Judge Scott Johansen claimed various studies suggested children are better off being raised in a heterosexual households – but they feel the judge used the questionable evidence to force his religious beliefs upon them.
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The couple say they are devastated by the ruling, especially as they have not done anything legally wrong.
“We are shattered,” Ms Hoagland told KUTV. “It hurts me really badly because I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Ms Peirce echoed her wife’s sentiments, highlighting the fact that the judge had made his decision based on prejudice.
“He’s never been in our home, never spent time with the child in our home or our other children so he doesn’t know anything about this,” she added.
LGBT activists have rejected the decision, noting that recent studies prove that sexuality has no negative impact on a couple’s ability to raise a child – in fact, the opposite is often true.