Since it was brought back to the office in July 2020, MCAO's Adoption Services Bureau has conducted over 200 adoptions and saved taxpayers over $1 million. Our Adoption Services Bureau comprises three MCAO employees: legal support specialist Ashley Espinoza, paralegal Kim Redmond-Hatfield, and adoption attorney Merilee Todd. The team handles a variety of uncontested adoptions, including adoptions by stepparents and other relatives, agency and private adoptions, and foreign adoptions. The Bureau does not manage Department of Child Safety adoptions.
In honor of National Adoption Month, we want to highlight the work of our Adoption Services team.
Why is it essential to provide this service to the community?
- Kim: "Our office provides exemplary service at no cost to Maricopa County residents. So many of our families have expressed appreciation for the service that our office provides, and some have said they wouldn't have been able to complete their adoption without our services."
- Ashley: "This is an important service to provide for our community because the adoption of a child should be a celebration, not a worry. Adoptions may be a new beginning or finalization to the family dynamic, and we can help complete that step at no cost to the family."
- Merilee: "The ability to provide these services at no cost allows everyone in our community the opportunity to adopt."
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
- Kim: “Being the adoption paralegal for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is the best job I’ve ever had. I enjoy extreme satisfaction in assisting kids and adoptive parents with their journeys to become legally adoptive families.”
- Ashley: “What I enjoy most about this work is being able to help our clients complete their family. This job creates so much joy and happiness for them, and to be a part of that is an honor."
- Merilee: “It is a privilege to support our clients in realizing their dream for their family, whether they are starting a new one or solidifying a relationship that has always existed.”
We are thankful to have a team of professionals that brings so much joy into the community by helping families come together!
Visit MCAO's Adoption Services Bureau page to learn more.