Main | Friday, October 05, 2007

Utah: Some "Special" Families OK
Others, Not So Much

A Utah single mother, overwhelmed by her drug problems, asked her uncle to take temporary custody of her four children while she gets her act together. Even though her uncle was already raising two kids with his male partner, he agreed to take in the kids, ages 10 months to 11 years.

Enter the state of Utah, which does not allow not-legally-married couples to have custody of children. The Utah Division of Child and Family Services, despite their stated goal of keeping siblings together and the difficulty (some would say "impossibility") of finding someone willing to foster four children together, sent the two gay men a lawyer with a request to surrender the children.

But surprisingly, the first Utah judge on the case has reversed the state, saying, "I see absolutely no reason why the kids can’t stay where they’re at." The four kids are back where their mother wanted them. For now. The great-uncle and his partner face an uphill battle. Under Utah law, single men cannot be foster parents. And since the two cannot be legally married, the four children face the terrifying prospect that they will be separated and parceled out into the foster system.

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