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Utah judge orders baby taken away from married lesbian foster parents

A judge in Utah ordered Wednesday that a foster child be removed from the same-sex couple raising her.

Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland were married in 2014, according to the Washington Post, and brought in a 1-year-old foster child earlier this year. They wanted to adopt the child, the report said, but were denied Wednesday by a judge that suggested it’d be better off in a heterosexual home.

Hoagland called the decision “heartbreaking,” in an interview with Utah’s KUTV.

“I was kind of caught off guard because I didn’t think anything like that would happen anymore,” she told the television station.

Judge Scott Johansen said that “through his research he had found out that kids in homosexual homes don’t do as well as they do in heterosexual homes,” according to Hoagland. Requests from the lesbian couple and media outlets across the country to obtain such research have been unsuccessful.

Wednesday, as the couple spoke with the media, a Utah child services representative said he hadn’t seen the order, but acknowledged it might not be legal.

“On the one hand, I’m not going to expect my caseworkers to violate a court order,” said Brent Platt, director of the Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), “but on the other hand, I’m not going to expect my caseworkers to violate the law.”

The family is left scratching their head, as just about everybody except the judge has supported them, Peirce said.

“We have a lot of support,” Peirce told the Salt Lake Tribune. “DCFS wants us to have the child, the guardian ad litem [a court-appointed representative for the child] 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.”

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