As local CBS affiliate KUTV first reported on Wednesday, April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce of Carbon County say the baby they’ve loved and raised for the last three months will be taken from their home and moved to an opposite-sex household.
Judge Scott Johansen of the Seventh District Juvenile Court ordered the child removed in seven days. According to the couple, the judge said he has research indicating children don’t fare as well in same-sex households, but hasn’t produced his findings.
“We’ve been told to care for this child like a mother, and I am her mother,” Hoagland says in the report. “That’s who she knows. And she’s just going to be taken away in seven days to another probably good loving home, but it’s not fair, and it’s not right, and it just hurts me really badly because I haven’t done anything wrong.”
It’s hard to imagine the judge would have any accurate research showing children are worse off with same-sex parents. Major medical and psychological organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association, have concluded there’s no scientific basis for same-sex couples are less capable parents than straight couples, or that their children are less psychologically healthy and well adjusted.
According to KUTV, the couple is legally married, want to adopt the baby and plan to appeal the decision. The biological mother of the child reportedly has said she wants the child to remain with the same-sex couple.
Nancy Volmer, a spokesperson for the Seventh District Juvenile Court, confirmed the accuracy of the report to the Washington Blade.
Utah’s Department of Child & Family Services has said it cannot defy the judge’s order, but wants to review the decision.
It’s not the first time Johansen, who received his law degree from Brigham Young University in 1977, has made headline for his orders. According to the conservative website known as The Blaze, in 2012 he reportedly told a Utah mother she would reduce her 13-year-old daughter’s sentence if she chopped off the girl’s ponytail in court. The mother took up the offer which the mother taken, but later said she wishes she hadn’t and filed a complaint.
CORRECTION: An initial version of this article misspelled the name of Nancy Volmer. The Blade regrets the error.