Utah judge backs off order to remove foster child from same-sex couple’s home
PRICE, Utah — The juvenile judge who has ordered a foster child be removed from a Utah same-sex couple’s home to be placed with a heterosexual couple now seems to be backing down on his order.
Judge Scott Johansen canceled his decision to remove the child from the lesbian couple’s home Friday morning, according to KSTU.
According to officials documents, the judge will allow the one-year-old foster child to stay with April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce.
The legally-married couple was approved to be foster parents this year.
Judge Johansen has scheduled on the foster child case at the end of November and in December as well.
Tuesday the judge ordered the little girl, who had been with the couple for three months, to be taken back and placed with a heterosexual couple.
Judge Johansen said, based on his research, it would be better for the child’s “well-being.”
However, the judge would not share his research or say where he got it.
The Director of the DCFS, Brent Platt, says he’s hopeful the judge will reconsider his decision.
“We feel he has overstepped his bounds,” Platt said. “So we have filed a motion with this court to ask him to reconsider his decision.”
Peirce said she feels like the judge made his decision without knowing much about them beyond their sexual orientation, while DCFS supports them because they know and understand their family situation.
“They’ve been in our home, they’ve seen the dynamic of our family,” she said of DCFS. “They’ve seen how well the child’s doing, and the judge doesn’t know anything about us other than we’re a same-sex couple.”
The Utah Division of Child and Family Services filed a motion Thursday to stay the order from Judge Johansen.
It stated that unless the judge vacates his order, the DCFS will proceed with their petition to the court of appeals.