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Utah judge orders baby be removed from lesbian couple

New Jersey readers may be interested to learn that the Utah Division of Child and Family Services challenged a controversial decision by a Utah judge to remove a baby from foster parents because they are lesbians. In a statement on Nov. 12, the agency said it would fight the ruling if the judge didn't reverse his decision.

According to the DCFS, the judge went against its recommendation that the 9-month old girl should be allowed to stay in the care of a married lesbian couple living in the city of Price. In his ruling, which came during a routine hearing, the judge said that research shows that children fare better when raised by heterosexuals. However, according to the American Psychological Association, there is no scientific evidence that gays and lesbians make unfit parents due to their sexual orientation. The judge subsequently reversed his ruling and has now recused himself from the case.

The ruling had been criticized by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who said the judge should not let his personal beliefs supersede the law. It was also lambasted by national LGBT groups, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The judge's actions have garnered criticism in the past. In 1995, he was issued a reprimand for slapping an allegedly belligerent 16-year-old in his chambers. He was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing after he apologized.

Despite recent legal advancements, same-sex couples still face unique family law challenges. Same-sex couples who have questions regarding adoptions or child custody issues in New Jersey may benefit by consulting with an attorney who has experience with these types of family law matters.

Source: CBS News, "Utah challenging order to take baby from lesbian couple," Nov. 13, 2015

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