(CN) – A lesbian couple in West Virginia is entitled to an order preventing the removal of one of their foster children to a “traditional” home, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled. The child “has formed a close emotional bond and nurturing relationship with her foster parents, which cannot be trivialized or ignored,” the court wrote.
Kathryn Kutil and Cheryl Hess cared for Baby Girl C, but the trial court ordered that the child be transferred to a home with a father and a mother.
The couple also take care of other foster children, and they accepted the baby in late 2007 after she was born with cocaine and oxycodone in her bloodstream.
One month later, the guardian ad litem filed a motion to remove the baby from the “homosexual environment,” calling it “detrimental to the child’s overall welfare and well-being.”
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources added that the Kutil-Hess house had seven children in it, which exceeded the state limit on five unrelated children.
In their per-curiam decision, the justices noted that the department caused that problem and “ignored any consideration of the impact relocation would have on Baby Girl C’s emotional, physical, and mental development.”
The court noted that one of the petitioners had adopted a child and wanted to do the same with Baby Girl C.
“Clearly, that petitioner should not be excluded from consideration for the reason stated by respondent,” the justices wrote. “Baby Girl C has formed a close emotional bond and nurturing relationship with her foster parents, which cannot be trivialized or ignored.”