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A married lesbian couple claims a Utah judge ordered them to give up their infant foster daughter because children are better off being raised by heterosexuals.
Beckie Peirce and wife April Hoagland have been caring for the 1-year-old girl for three months, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. The state has been in the process of terminating the birth-mother's parental rights, and Hoagland claims she asked her and Peirce to adopt the little girl.
"We have a lot of support," Peirce said. "DCFS [Utah's Division of Child and Family Services] wants us to have the child, the Guardian Ad Litem wants us to have the child, the mother wants us to have the child, so the only thing standing in the way is the judge."
On Tuesday, Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen of the 7th District Court ordered that the baby be removed from the couple's care, and placed in another home.
"He said through his research he had found out that kids in ... homosexual homes don't do as well as they do in heterosexual homes," Hoagland said in a video for Reuters.
Hoagland and Peirce told the Tribune that although attorneys from the DCFS and the Guardian Ad Litem Office assigned to represent the child questioned Johansen about that research, he would not provide any specifics.
DCFS is currently looking for a new home for the baby to comply with Johansen's order, but DCFS director Brett Platt said its attorneys plan to review the order to see if there are grounds for an appeal.
"If we feel like [Johansen's] decision is not best for the child, and we have a recourse to appeal or change it, we're going to do that," Platt told the Tribune, noting that Utah law does not prohibit legally married couples from serving as foster parents, and that no other state judge has raised concerns about same-sex couples serving as foster parents.
In the video, above, Hoagland expressed her grief over Johansen's order:
We've been told to care for this child like a mother would, and I am her mother—that's who she knows. And she's just going to be taken away in seven days to another good, probably loving home. But it’s just not fair and it's not right and it just hurts me really badly.