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Utah Judge Rescinds Order To Remove Baby From Lesbian Foster Parents


A lesbian couple in Utah will likely be able to keep their 9-month-old foster daughter. A judge has rescinded an order he issued earlier this week to have the baby placed with heterosexual parents. At the time, he said it was better for the child's well-being. From member station KUER in Salt Lake City, Whittney Evans reports.

WHITTNEY EVANS, BYLINE: The parents, Rebecca Pierce and April Hoagland, will retain custody for now. But Ashley Sumner, a spokesperson for the Utah division of Child and Family Services, says her agency will still have to present a case in court for why that's the best place for the child.

ASHLEY SUMNER: We're incredibly relieved that we are not on such a tight deadline now and that we're not going to have to disrupt the family on Tuesday. But we do understand that there are forces greater than us that could change things.

EVANS: The couple had been caring for the child for three months. Utah Juvenile District Court Judge Scott Johansen told the family during a hearing earlier this week the removal order was based on research that children are more emotionally and mentally stable when raised by a mother and a father. But the American Sociological Association says children fair just as well when same-sex or different-sex parents raise them. Utah law allows legally married same-sex couples to foster and adopt children. DCFS officials say no other judge in Utah has raised these concerns. The agency will make its case before Judge Johansen December 4. For NPR News, I'm Whittney Evans in Salt Lake City. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Whittney Evans
Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.