Arizona County Official Strikes Costly Anti-LGBTQ Policy

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday July 28, 2020

An Arizona county official has eradicated a policy that was costing taxpayers a mint - and purposefully making it harder for same-sex families to adopt.

News outlet azcentral reports that that county attorney for Maricopa County, Allister Adel, has eliminated a policy put in place by her predecessor as a means of roadblocking qualified same-sex couples looking to adopt. In the process, Adel is saving taxpayers an estimated $750,000 per year.

Adel told the media:

"Once we realized how much money we were saving not only for taxpayers, but getting children out of the system and into loving homes, this was something we absolutely had to do."

The taxpayer-gouging way of doing things that Adel has now dispensed with was put into place in 2015 by then-County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who threw up roadblocks to the adoption process following the Supreme Court's finding that same year that same-sex couples have a Constitutional right to marriage.

AZ Central reports that after a lesbian couple came to Montgomery's office looking for a service that had been provided, without controversy, to heterosexual couples - representation free of charge in uncontested adoptions - Montgomery decided that same-sex families should not have the benefit of the service. In a move that penalized all couples seeking to adopt in uncontested cases, Montgomery began outsourcing that legal representation. The contract for non-governmental firms to handle the cases reportedly cost $1 million per year in taxpayer money. The article noted that information on how to access that service was also "buried," becoming hard for prospective adoptive parents to find.

Adel told the media that marriage equality is "old news," and added, "If a gay couple wants to adopt under this, they can."

Easy-to-find information on the country's free representations in uncontested adoptions will be added back to the county website, the report said.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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