Utah Judge Reverses Decision After Ordering Child Removed From Lesbian Foster Parents

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Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland are seen in a picture from the Facebook page of Beckie Peirce.

A Utah judge who initially ruled that a foster child be removed from the home of a lesbian couple has rescinded his order, according to court documents signed Friday.

Juvenile court Judge Scott Johansen had ordered Tuesday that the child be removed from the home and sent “to a more traditional home,” according to the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.

But Johansen has since amended his original ruling, crossing out the line in the order that read “The Court orders the Division to place the child with a duly married, heterosexual foster-adoptive couple within one week. The Division’s motion to stay the execution of this order until the best interest hearing is held is denied.”

By doing so, he reversed his verbal order.

The original decision left the parents, April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, “heartbroken.” The couple was legally married more than a year ago and approved as foster parents after passing home inspections, background checks and interviews with the division of family services.

They are already raising Peirce’s two children. They say the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, the biological mother and others involved in the case are supportive of them.

Utah’s child services division subsequently filed a motion asking the judge to stay his order. If he did not, the agency had said that it would petition a court of appeals.