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Judge Orders Baby to be Removed From Home of Lesbian Foster Parents

Brian Turner via Creative Commons

A Carbon County Judge has ordered the Utah Department of Child and Family Services to remove a one-year-old baby girl from the home of her lesbian foster parents.

Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland, a legally married couple who lives in Price, Utah were told Tuesday they’d have to give up their new foster daughter. They’d been taking care of her for three months. Juvenile Court Judge Scott Johansen said the baby would be better off in a home with heterosexual parents. He gave DCFS seven days to find a new home for the child. DCFS Director Brent Plass says the department’s attorneys are looking into a possible appeal.

“We have no concerns with the family where the child was placed,” Plass says. “So the order is unique in that it’s really not giving us a reason other than, same-sex couple and the judge is concerned about that.”

Governor Gary Herbert told reporters Thursday during his monthly televised news conference on KUED, he’s puzzled by Johansen’s order.

“I expect this will be under review and I expect DCFS to continue to worry about the welfare of the child,” Herbert said. “I expect the courts and the judge to follow the law.”

Utah law does not prohibit legally married couples from serving as foster parents. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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