Originally published in the Arizona Capitol Times
After leading the Goldwater Institute for 15 years, Darcy Olsen founded Generation Justice in 2017 to focus on abandoned, abused and trafficked children. Already, Generation Justice has proven to be quite adept at navigating the complicated waters of policymaking to get things done. This year, all but one member of the state’s 90-member Legislature supported legislation the group was pushing to allow babies exposed to drugs and whose parent or parents have a chronic drug abuse problem to be adopted by their first birthday. Olsen argued in favor of the legislation by noting that foster kids who bounce from one foster home to another face numerous disadvantages, and that providing them with certainty sooner rather than later, such as via an adoption, are in their best interests. The group’s notable success is unsurprising, given the kind of dedication Olsen showed while she was at the Goldwater Institute, where she led efforts to allow terminally ill patients to try drugs not yet approved for the market to save their lives. That legislation, which numerous states also adopted, is now a federal law.