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Concerns raised as former Wash. state Rep. Matt Shea tries to arrange Ukrainian adoptions

Former Republican state Representative Matt Shea is pictured at a rally in 2020, speaking into a microphone and holding his hand in the air, with an American flag in the background.
AP File Photo
Former Republican state Rep. Matt Shea, seen here at a gun rights rally in January of 2020, is in Poland trying to get Ukrainian children adopted. Local officials and international adoption experts are concerned. They say arranging adoptions in a time of war is not good for children, and could separate them from family members.

Former Washington state Rep. Matt Shea, who didn't seek re-election in 2020 after a report found that he planned and engaged in domestic terrorism, is now in Poland, where he says he's trying to arrange for the adoption of Ukrainian children.

The move is raising concerns among experts on international adoption and Polish officials alike. Local officials said Shea was combative when they made inquiries, and vague about his plans.

Seattle Times reporter David Gutman broke the story, and spoke to KNKX All Things Considered host Ed Ronco about what he learned.

Ed Ronco came to KNKX in October 2013 as producer and reporter for KNKX’s Morning Edition. Ed started in public radio in 2009 at KCAW in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from city government, to education, crime, science, the arts and more. Prior to public radio, Ed worked in newspapers, including four years at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, where he covered business, then politics and government.
Posey produces, reports, and edits stories for Sound Effect. Before joining the Sound Effect team, Posey worked as a producer at KUOW and WNYC. She has also worked for The Moth and StoryCorps. She holds a certificate in documentary audio production from Duke's Center for Documentary Studies and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She lives in Seattle with her wife, her daughter, and a fluffy dog.