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Judge Takes Away—Then Gives Back—Baby to Gay Foster Parents

The Short of It

On Wednesday, a Utah judge ordered the Division of Child and Family Services to remove a baby from the care of her lesbian foster parents, April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, saying she would be better off with heterosexual parents. After widespread backlash, he reversed his decision today.

The Lowdown

Peirce and Hoagland, who have two biological children, welcomed a baby girl into their home in August with the biological mother's blessing to adopt her. They're among the same-sex married couples who were allowed to become foster parents in Utah after last summer's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal across the country. But on Wednesday, Judge Scott Johansen ordered the child be removed from the couple's care, stating that she would be better off with heterosexual parents.

"It's not fair, and it's not right, and it hurts me really badly because I haven't done anything wrong," Hoagland told KUTV. "He said through his research he had found out that kids in homosexual homes don't do as well as they do in heterosexual homes. When they asked him to show his research, he would not."

The American Psychological Association has said there's no scientific basis for believing that gays and lesbians are unfit parents based on sexual orientation. In fact, recent research shows there is "overwhelming evidence" that kids of same-sex parents are doing okay.

The Upshot

The ruling received widespread national backlash, including from government officials and LGBT rights groups.

"He may not like the law, but he should follow the law. We don't want to have activism on the bench in any way, shape or form," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert told ABC News.

Today, Judge Johansen reversed his decision and released an order that will allow the baby to stay with Hoagland and Peirce.

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