Last year, Utah couple Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland decided to get married. Last summer, in a decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, the Supreme Court confirmed that this was okay. Then, Peirce and Hoagland wanted to take in a foster child. So, because the Supreme Court had signed off on gay marriage, Utah child services officials licensed the couple earlier this year. And, in August, Peirce and Hoagland welcomed a 1-year-old girl into their home, where she joined the couple’s two biological children. Plans for adoption, approved by the baby’s biological mother, were in place — soon, this would be a family of five.
But on Wednesday, a Utah judge decided to end this plan, ordering the girl removed from her foster home because he said she would be better off with heterosexual parents.
“I was kind of caught off guard because I didn’t think anything like that would happen anymore,” Hoagland told KUTV. “… It’s not fair, and it’s not right, and it hurts me really badly because I haven’t done anything wrong.”
A copy of the court order by Judge Scott Johansen, a juvenile court judge in Utah’s Seventh District, was not immediately available, but the Salt Lake Tribune confirmed its contents. Hoagland told KUTV that Johansen said that “through his research he had found out that kids in homosexual homes don’t do as well as they do in heterosexual homes.”
On Thursday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said he was “a little puzzled” by the decision, and that the state Division of Child and Family Services will review it and investigate.