06-21-2018  5:24 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Ex-basketball coach sentenced to 60 days for sex abuse

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A former Beaverton basketball coach has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years of probation for sexually abusing a teenage girl he met through work.KOIN-TV reported Wednesday 34-year-old Laurence Metz was convicted of two counts of sex abuse.Metz was a coach...

Legal pot will roll out differently in Canada than in US

Mail-order weed? You betcha!With marijuana legalization across Canada on the horizon, the industry is shaping up to look different from the way it does in nine U.S. states that have legalized adult recreational use of the drug. Age limits, government involvement in distribution and sales, and...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.Ohio...

Trudeau: Canada to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley...

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .Throughout American history,...

The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):12:16 a.m.Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.Ronaldo has all of Portugal's goals, a tournament-leading four so far, and has been getting in digs at Messi...

ENTERTAINMENT

Dig it: Archaeologists scour Woodstock '69 concert field

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) — Archaeologists scouring the grassy hillside famously trampled during the 1969 Woodstock music festival carefully sifted through the dirt from a time of peace, love, protest and good vibes.Perhaps they would find an old peace symbol? Or a strand of hippie beads? Or Jimi...

Behind the making of Jack-Jack, the summer's breakout star

NEW YORK (AP) — The breakout star of the summer moviegoing season isn't a dinosaur, an Avenger or anyone aboard the Millennium Falcon. It's a giggling pipsqueak in diapers."The Incredibles 2," which last weekend set a new box-office record for animated films with 2.7 million in ticket...

Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson are engaged

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's true, Pete Davidson says: He and Ariana Grande are engaged.The "Saturday Night Live" cast member confirmed their rumored engagement to Jimmy Fallon on NBC's "Tonight Show."Fallon put Davidson on the spot Wednesday, telling him he didn't have to get engaged to the pop...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New Zealand leader welcomes newborn girl 'to our village'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a daughter Thursday...

Science Says: What makes something truly addictive

CHICAGO (AP) — Now that the world's leading public health group says too much Minecraft can be an...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio...

Voting machines raise worries in Congo ahead of elections

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo's government is moving forward with plans to use electronic voting machines in...

Japan to scrap evacuation drills for NKorean missile threat

TOKYO (AP) — Japan plans to suspend the civilian evacuation drills it started last year while North Korea...

Official: Polish leader's ill health not sparking infighting

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A government official is denying rumors that the illness of Jaroslaw Kaczynski,...

CNN


Josh and Jenni Johnston already have photos and memories of 4-year-old Anastasia, the HIV-positive Russian orphan they met in November and hoped to welcome into their family.Now they don't know what the future holds after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a controversial law that bans the adoption of Russian children by American families.

The new law creates uncertainty for 46 American families who have already met prospective adoptees, according to the U.S. State Department. The agency, which helps facilitate foreign adoptions, hopes Russia will lift the ban altogether, but in the meantime is working to resolve pending adoptions.

As far as the Johnstons know, their dossier was submitted to a Russian court on Friday, one month after meeting Anastasia in a children's home outside Moscow. Otherwise, they have no idea where their case stands or how the new law will affect them.

"We just hope everything works out so we can bring her home," Josh Johnston said in a phone interview from his home in Dover, New Jersey.

"We told her we were going to be back for her and she said she would wait for us," he said. "Now we're in limbo."

The couple already has one adopted child, 4-year-old Jack from Ethiopia, and two biological children. But they wanted to continue growing their family, and their Christian faith led them to again consider adoption, Josh Johnston said.

Jenni Johnston's experience volunteering for an international nonprofit had also opened their eyes to the difficulties orphans with medical conditions face in finding a family, leading them to specifically request a child who was HIV-positive.

"We knew that there was an overwhelming need for children to be adopted, especially children with special needs," Josh Johnston said. "We had means and love to give so we figured that would be the best way to serve the Lord and the world."

They completed about 90 hours of online and classroom training on cultural awareness and raising a special-needs child before arriving in Moscow at the end of November. They met with an official from the region's Ministry of Education, who gave them an information packet with Anastasia's picture, Josh Johnston said.

They accepted the referral and drove about 70 miles east of Moscow to the children's home, an imposing facility surrounded by high fences topped with barbed wire. Inside, they found a clean and safe environment for children ages 4 to 16.

They first saw Anastasia from a distance in the audience of a talent show and later met her face-to-face accompanied by a nurse and doctor, Josh Johnston said. She seemed shy and unsure at first. But when the nurse explained that they were there to take her home, her face flushed and she smiled, he said.

"She captured our hearts," he said. "We went there guided by the Lord and she was the one the Lord put in front of us."

Americans tend to seek adoptions abroad because of the perception that it's easier and that there are more children in need in other countries than in the United States. In the past 20 years, Americans have adopted about 60,000 Russian children, according to the U.S State Department. In 2011, Americans adopted 970 children from Russia, making it third to China (2,589 in 2011) and Ethiopia (1,727), according to the U.S. State Department.

Still, most adoptions are domestic. U.S. citizens adopted 17,416 children from foreign countries in 2008, accounting for 13 percent of adoptions that year), compared to approximately 136,000 children in the United States, according to a 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau.

"Generally, it's perceived that orphans have far greater challenges abroad than they do in the United States, so when it comes to adopting a child, families typically want to raise a child out of a desperate situation," said Kim de Blecourt, founder of Nourished Hearts, a faith-based support network for those connected to adoption and foster care.

Another common perception is that it costs less to adopt internationally. But estimates show that variables such as travel, visa and attorney fees can drive up the cost.

International adoptions also offer families who don't want open adoptions more distance from biological parents -- geographically, psychologically and logistically.

When Dominique Love found out she couldn't have children, she and her husband started looking abroad to avoid potential conflicts with birth parents. She knows that stance might draw criticism, but at the time it was a very real fear.

"I was scared of the birth mother having a role in our lives, or taking the child back or changing her mind," she said. "When you're standing on the edge of adoption, every angle of it is scary. Until you're in those shoes and faced with the decision you really can't judge."

The couple came across Russia as an option and ultimately found the experience to be so positive that they planned to return there to adopt a daughter. The process was relatively quick, from the moment they submitted paperwork in August 2008 to when they left the country on February 7, 2009, with the 20-month-old boy they later renamed Hampton Burchfield Love Greto.

He knows he is adopted and where he's from, she said. She and her husband try to instill in him an awareness of Russian culture through maps, books and TV shows about Russia. They have also become part of a community of Russian-American families in Atlanta in an effort to stay connected to his roots.

"He's Russian-American. It's part of his story and we don't want to erase that," she said.

She remembers the day her son thanked her for "choosing" him. It broke her heart and reminded her of the other children still waiting for a family to choose them, which is why she was eager to return to Russia for Hampton's sister.

If the ban holds up, she and her husband will pursue a domestic adoption. She sympathizes with Russians who want to their children to stay in the land where they born, but thinks the children are the ones who will suffer.

"Our son had been in that baby home for 12 months when we came along," she said. "You don't understand the need until you see it. We walked into that baby home and saw the number of children that need homes."

Follow CNN Living on Facebook and Emanuella Grinberg on Twitter

CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.

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