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DHS news release

Nov. 20, 2007

Contact: Ann Snyder, 503-945-5922

Allred case to receive fresh review

Governor Ted Kulongoski and Oregon Department of Human Services Director Bruce Goldberg, M.D., announced today that they have asked Bryan Johnston, interim assistant director for the DHS Children, Adults and Families Division, to take a fresh look at the adoption case involving Gabriel Allred.

"This situation is unique in Oregon," said Goldberg. "It involves a complex web of social, emotional, legal and jurisdictional issues that need to be resolved in a way that best ensures Gabriel's safety and well-being. To that end, the Governor and I have asked Bryan to work with both families to achieve a mutually agreeable solution that will be in Gabriel's best interests."

During the past seven years Oregon has placed 19 children with families in other nations. Fifteen of those children were born in the U.S. However, noted Goldberg, this is the first time that U.S. foster parents and biological relatives in another country have both sought to adopt a child who is a citizen of both countries.

"We have given Bryan until Dec. 3 to work out a satisfactory resolution to this issue," said Goldberg. "Given his background and experience, I have every confidence he will be able to create a positive solution within that timeframe."

Johnston, noted Goldberg, is uniquely qualified to address this complex issue.

"Bryan has been director of Willamette University's Center for Dispute Resolution, has directed DHS, and manages a consulting practice that focuses on mediation, ethics and values," said Goldberg. "I can't think of anyone more qualified to bring this matter to a successful resolution."

"I believe everyone has Gabriel's best interests at heart," said Johnston, "and that is an excellent situation to be in. As long as the focus stays on what is best for this child, I believe we can develop a very positive outcome for Gabriel."