UTAH: Judge Amends Order, Schedules December Hearing On Removing Baby From Lesbian Parents

Breaking from the Salt Lake Tribune:

A Utah juvenile court judge has amended an order that a 9-month-old girl be removed from the home of her married same-sex foster parents because the two are lesbians, and has instead scheduled a hearing on the matter. Under the order issued earlier this week, 7th District Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen had given state officials until Nov. 17 to remove the child. In his ruling, Johansen said research showed that children do better in homes with heterosexual parents.

On Friday, Johansen scheduled a hearing for Dec. 4 to determine what is in the best interest of the child. The Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) on Thursday filed a petition for a stay of the order, while an attorney for the foster parents women — April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce — filed a separate petition asking the judge to reverse his own ruling. Hoagland and Peirce, who have been married for a year and are licensed foster parents, have cared for the girl since August, as the state has moved through the legal process of terminating the parental rights of the child’s biological mother.

Obviously this is far from over.

UPDATE: More from the New York Times.

A Utah judge on Friday reversed his order to take a foster child away from a same-sex couple because of their sexual orientation, state officials said. It is not entirely clear that the fight is over, given the wording of the revised order the judge issued Friday. Judge Johansen eliminated a line saying that “it is not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex couples,” and another ordering the child removed and placed with a heterosexual couple. But the new order still says, “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.” And there is still a Dec. 4 hearing scheduled on the best interests of the child.