Homophobic adoption rules abandoned after officials realised it was costing $750,000 a year to discriminate
Maricopa County, Arizona has abandoned an anti-gay adoption policy, after the county attorney realised it was costing $750,000 a year to keep in place.
The county provides free legal services for parents seeking uncontested adoptions, but a policy imposed in 2015 had restricted the service to opposite-sex couples.
After the policy faced a legal threat from the ACLU, county attorney Bill Montgomery opted to stop his office from doing adoption work altogether and outsource the provision to outside firms.
Five years on from the row, the Arizona Republic reports that Montgomery’s successor in the post, Allister Adel, is ending the anti-gay policy and bringing adoption services back in-house.
The move will save an estimated $750,000 year for taxpayers, she said.
Adel explained to the newspaper: “Once we realised 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.”
She added: “Gay marriage, that’s old news. If a gay couple wants to adopt under this, they can.”
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The official said her staff is already taking on the adoption work, with the first adoption case scheduled for next week.
Removal of Arizona county’s anti-gay adoption policy welcomed.
The ACLU of Arizona’s Victoria Lopez welcomed the move, noting the “astounding” cost of the anti-gay policy.
Adoption attorney Claudia Work told KJZZ she was astonished by the price tag attached to Montgomery’s anti-gay gesture. She said: “It doesn’t appear that the decision was at all tailored to the public good. There was nothing about the decision that helped the public or children.”
Montgomery is now a justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, after being controversially picked by the state’s Republican governor Doug Ducey.
Several members of the state judicial nominating commission, who had allegedly refused to submit Montgomery’s name for a vacancy, were replaced by Ducey ahead of the selection process.