Utah lawmaker shares experiences of adopting two children from Ukraine

Feb 28, 2022, 6:16 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2022, 10:07 am
Utah 2022 legislative session...
Aerial view of the Utah State Capitol. Photo: Ravell Call, Deseret News, KSL-TV Chopper 5

SALT LAKE CITY — One Utah lawmaker shared his memories of adopting two children from Ukraine more than 20 years ago.

Rep. Jeff Stenquist, R-Draper, told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio what his experience was like in Ukraine.

Adopting two children

“We met so many wonderful people there,” Stenquist said. “And we were so impressed by the people in Ukraine, and just their intelligence and their resolve. So, 20 years later as we are seeing the events unfold right now, it’s not necessarily surprising to us that we are seeing that resolve from the Ukrainian people. It’s actually been quite inspiring. At the same time, it’s heartbreaking to see some of the sufferings they are enduring.”

Stenquist’s children, who were ages 5 and 3 at the time, were adopted just two months after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

“They don’t have a lot of memories at that age of Ukraine,” Stenquist said. “And we don’t have a lot of information about their biological parents. But they do feel a tie there and they do understand that is where they are from.”

Stenquist told KSL that both his children attended the Ukraine rally at the Utah State Capitol on Monday evening. 

His daughter, who currently is a student at Brigham Young University, led the prayer on the House floor on Friday. Stenquist says his son works in the Salt Lake valley.


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Utah lawmaker shares experiences of adopting two children from Ukraine