Judge Reportedly Ordered Lesbian Couple to Give Up Foster Child

Judge Reportedly Ordered Lesbian Couple to Give Up Foster Child Judge Scott Johansen (L) reportedly ordered the foster child of Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland (R) to be moved (UTCourts.gov; Facebook)

A married Utah couple fostering a baby girl they hoped to adopt said they were ordered to give up the child because they are lesbians.

Beckie Stewart Peirce and her wife April Benedict Hoagland said in interviews they were approved by the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) to foster the tot, but the girl was ordered to be removed from their custody because she would fare better with parents of both sexes.

“Today Judge Scott Johansen ordered our foster child be moved due to our sexual orientation!” Peirce wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “How is this ok?”

The couple has said that they were told on Tuesday by the juvenile court judge that the little girl would be turned over to a heterosexual couple. They were already raising Peirce's 12- and 14-year-old biological children.

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When asked by a friend on the social network why a judge would do such a thing, Peirce replied: “It’s his religious views.”

"He said he has research to back that children do better in heterosexual homes," Hoagland told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Johansen’s order gives DCFS seven days to find a new home for the child, the paper wrote.

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The judge made headlines in 1997 when he was reprimanded by the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission for slapping a 16-year-old boy who acted out during a courthouse meeting.

He was also criticized for ordering a woman in 2012 to cut off her 13-year-old daughter’s ponytail as punishment for cutting a three-year-old girl’s hair.

Calls made to DCFS and to a spokeswoman with the Utah Courts system for comment were not immediately returned.

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