News Meanwhile in Utah
posted by October 5 at 10:22 AMon
A woman that can’t care for her four children—she’s got a drug problem, the father is not on the scene—begged her uncle to take in her children. He’s already raising two children but he did the right thing and took in his niece’s four children—kids that range in age from 10 months to 11 years old. Enter the state of Utah. The man that took in his niece’s four kids is gay and lives with a male partner. The state of Utah wants to remove the four children from the home of Michael Gregg Valdez—he’s the uncle—and Michael Oberg and put them in foster care.
To the state, it’s a simple matter of the law, which says that to adopt or be a foster parent, you must be legally married or single and not cohabitating. Officials asked for clarification of a judge’s directive that Valdez have custody of the children, requesting that the court take custody or grant custody to the state’s Division of Child and Family Services….
The two men, both natives of Utah County, said they would love to get married, but voters passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
The men have been together for five years, both are natives of Utah, both are employed, and neither has a criminal history. The state will have to split the four siblings up if it succeeds in removing from their uncles’ home; it’s almost impossible to find a foster home that will take four children. A brave judge in Utah has so far bucked the state:
Officials [requested] that the court take custody or grant custody to the state’s Division of Child and Family Services. On Friday, the courts took custody, then turned around and granted Valez temporary custody of the children.
“The judge said, ‘I see absolutely no reason why the kids can’t stay where they’re at,’” Valdez said.
Under Utah law the men not only can’t serve as foster parents, they also can’t adopt. Finding foster parents for four siblings ranging in age from 10 months to 11 years is nearly impossible. Finding adoptive parents for a sibling group that large is utterly impossible. But the law in Utah is clear: These four children should be tossed into the foster care system, potentially separated from each other for the rest of their lives, and if their mother loses custody permanently, denied any chance of a stable home. Because it would be illegal to place these children in the care of a loving, stable same-sex couple that they’re related to.
My head is going to explode. I don’t even know what to say. So let’s give the last word to the 11 year-old boy whose life the state of Utah wants to destroy:
An 11-year-old boy who is in the temporary custody of his great-uncle says he wants to stay where he is. But his great-uncle is gay, and the state of Utah doesn’t license foster couples who aren’t legally married.
That means this boy and his three brothers and sisters could be taken away from relatives and split up until their mother regains custody.
The boy said, “I would rather live with my mom. But if I can’t, I’d rather live here.”