Did you know that LGBTQ parents are four times more likely to be raising an adopted child?
And six times more likely to be raising a foster child?
Yet there are judges who still contend that children are better off (more emotionally and mentally stable) when raised by a mother and a father in the same home? The erroneous studies used as fodder to break up families are not generally accepted by social scientists. In fact, the American Psychological Association attests that there is no scientific evidence that gay couples are unfit to raise children.
In the Supreme Court’s marriage decision Obergefell vs. Hodges, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy specifically listed in his opinion adoption among the rights associated with marriage and wrote that children were harmed when their parents’ unions were not recognized. Yet earlier this month in Price, Utah, a lesbian married couple who have two biological children, twelve and fourteen, and a foster baby who moved in with them in August, were initially ordered by Juvenile Court Judge Scott Johansen to surrender the baby, nine months old, within a week.
Couple Fit, Not Unfit
The foster parents, April Hoagland, 38, and Becky Peirce, 34, were devastated. Said Hoagland to KUTV, “it’s not fair because I haven’t done anything wrong.” She hasn’t. They are licensed foster parents who are married. Said the Republican Governor Gary R. Herbert, “the Judge may not like the law, but he should follow the law.”
There has been a public outcry to Johansen’s decision. The Human Rights Campaign filed a formal complaint. State Division of Child and Family Services and foster moms filed motions asking Johansen to reconsider. Johansen has withdrawn from the case and referred it to Judge Mary Manley.
The order has been amended and temporarily rescheduled for December 4th. The new order no longer says “the baby must be placed with a heterosexual couple “and removes the phrase “It’s not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex couples.” However, the order still notes “the court cited a concern that children are more emotionally and mentally stable when raised by a mother and father in the same home.”
For now, the baby is with Hoagland and Pierce who want to adopt her. The biological mother has surrendered her parental rights, the father is in jail. Child welfare officials say the change could be temporary. What could be worse than taking the baby from Hoagland –Peirce’s loving home and forcing her to make yet another adjustment?