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Utah Children v. Utah Division of Child and Family Services | Plaintiffs

30 September 1999 Published in Litigation Materials



Colleen Sandor

Colleen Sandor is a licensed psychologist living Salt Lake City. She is the program coordinator for an adult substance abuse treatment team at Cornerstone Counseling Center, a private non- profit agency. This program places a special emphasis on treating both mothers and children who have been affected by substance abuse issues. She is also in private practice where she treats many HIV+ clients.

Colleen was very active in both her high school and college communities, which were private Catholic institutions. Her experience in these communities taught her the importance of giving back to the community and helping to better the situation of people in need. She came to Utah to complete her graduate work in psychology and has been involved, at different times, with the Utah AIDS Foundation and the ACLU. She helped co-found a gay and lesbian support group at the University of Utah and has co-facilitated a gay and lesbian parenting group. Colleen has been in a committed relationship for over eight years and is beginning to actively pursue starting her own family. She and her partner are very close to her family who live in Buffalo, New York, where she grew up. Colleen makes several trips back to New York each year in order to spend time with her five-year-old niece to whom she is particularly close. Of raising children, Colleen says "I can”t imagine a more wonderful and challenging experience. I feel that all of the lessons I have learned thus far have been important in building the foundation for my role as a parent. I only hope that I will have the opportunity to make this dream come true by bringing children into our home. I know that a child would receive a tremendous amount of love and guidance from us."


Steven Lazarus and Mike Splitt

Steven Lazarus, 36, and his partner of 12 years Mike Splitt, 35, are both meteorologists at the University of Utah. They completed their graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma. While in Oklahoma, the pair mentored the child of a single-parent, female friend for five years. For the past year and a half, they have also participated in a mentorship program sponsored by the Salt Lake City Homeless Shelter.

Through the mentorship program, Lazarus and Splitt have spent approximately two weekends a month with a young man. The time with him has been varied, ranging from tutoring, to trips to the Hogle Zoo, to building an outdoor deck. Lazarus and Splitt also have a strong commitment to friends, family, and the community. They take their elderly neighbors shopping and sometimes prepare meals for them. This Thanksgiving, Lazarus and Splitt helped prepare dinner for students and others in the community that either do not have family or could not go home for the holiday. In 1996, Lazarus and Splitt were given the Irene Tyson Memorial award by the Oklahoma Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus for their work on gay and lesbian rights. In 1993, they were unofficially wed in a synagogue by a reform Jewish rabbi.        

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