Utah Foster Moms Can Keep Baby—For Now

Judge reverses order to place baby with heterosexual couple
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2015 1:43 PM CST
Utah Foster Moms Can Keep Baby—For Now
April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce will be allowed to keep their foster baby for at least another few weeks after a Utah judge revised his order to place the baby with a heterosexual couple.   (Steve Griffin/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

A 9-month-old girl will be allowed to stay with her foster moms—for now—after a Utah judge on Friday revised his earlier order to remove the baby and place her with a heterosexual couple, the New York Times reports. Following a major public outcry and motions to reconsider filed by both state child services and foster moms April Hoagland and Rebecca Peirce, judge Scott Johansen changed the order originally issued Tuesday. It no longer says the baby must be placed with a heterosexual couple and removes the phrase, "It is not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex couples." However, the order still notes, "The court cited a concern that research has shown that children are more emotionally and mentally stable when raised by a mother and father in the same home.”

It became legal for same-sex couples to foster and adopt children in Utah over the summer, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Hoagland and Peirce are married and licensed foster parents, and the baby has been living with them since August. They say they plan to adopt the girl, a move her biological mother supports. But the AP warns the couple's victory could be temporary. The judge's original order required the baby to be removed from their home by next week. The revised order sets a Dec. 4 hearing date to decide the girl's future. Child welfare officials are working to keep the baby with Hoagland and Peirce, and a child services spokesperson says she hopes the judge has listened to the public outcry. According to the American Psychological Association, there is no scientific evidence gay couples are unfit to raise children. (More same-sex marriage stories.)

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