US & Canada

Utah judge reverses his ruling on lesbian parents

April Hoagland and Beckie Pierce Image copyright AP
Image caption The couple's child could have been taken away within a week

A Utah judge has reversed his decision to move a baby from its lesbian foster parents and place it with a heterosexual couple.

Judge Scott Johansen had said it was for the eight-month-old girl's "well-being" that she be with heterosexual parents.

Officials from the Utah Division of Child and Family Services had said they would fight Mr Johansen's ruling.

His prior decision spurred criticism across the country.

The child could have been taken from its parents, April Hoagland and Beckie Pierce, within a week.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, had said he disagreed with the judge's prior ruling.

"He may not like the law, but he should follow the law. We don't want to have activism on the bench in any way, shape or form," said Mr Herbert.

The couple are married with two biological children and they were approved earlier this year to be foster parents.

They have been fostering the baby since August and hoped to eventually adopt her.

Officials in Utah estimate that there are at least a dozen foster parents in the state who are married same-sex couples.

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