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Order to take baby from lesbian foster parents under review

Published:Friday | November 13, 2015 | 11:00 AM

UTAH (AP):

Utah state child welfare officials are reviewing a ruling by a juvenile court judge who ordered a baby to be taken from lesbian foster parents and instead placed with a heterosexual couple for the child's well-being.

Judge Scott Johansen's order on Tuesday in the central Utah city of Price raised concerns at the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, agency spokeswoman Ashley Sumner said.

Its attorneys plan to review the decision and determine what options they have to possibly challenge the order.

The ruling came during a routine hearing for April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce. They are part of a group of same-sex married couples who were allowed to become foster parents in Utah after last summer's US Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal across the country, Sumner said.

Attempts to reach Hoagland and Peirce on Wednesday were unsuccessful, but the couple told KUTV that they are distraught after the ruling that calls for the baby girl they have been raising for three months to be taken away within a week.

They said Judge Johansen cited research that children do better when they are raised by heterosexual couples. Hoagland believes the judge actually imposed his religious beliefs.