A Utah juvenile court judge on Tuesday
cited a married lesbian couple's sexual orientation in ordering a
baby to be taken from them and placed with a heterosexual couple.
State child welfare officials said
Wednesday that they are reviewing the ruling by Judge Scott Johansen.
Foster parents April Hoagland and
Beckie Peirce have been raising the baby girl for three months and
affiliate KUTV that they were planning on adopting her.
“We are shattered,” Hoagland told
the station. “It hurts me really badly because I haven't done
The Utah Division of Child and Family
Services (DCFS) approved the couple after passing home inspections,
background checks and multiple interviews.
Johansen's order came during a routine
hearing. DCFS spokeswoman Ashley Sumner confirmed the women's claim
that Judge Johansen cited research that children do better when
raised in a household headed by a heterosexual married couple.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called the order “outrageous.”
“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