LOCAL NEWS

Utah family obtains legal assistance to help get children they adopted out of Haiti

May 25, 2024, 5:39 PM | Updated: 5:50 pm

OREM Saturday was a big day in the Stewart household.

Then again, celebrating a kid’s birthday is always a big deal.

“Here are his new trucks that he will finally get to play with when he gets home,” said Zachary Stewart. “And there is another birthday gift that we were able to get.”

“These are things we have bought for him,” said Cherry Stewart with a smile.

If only the birthday boy was here to see it.

Waiting for laughter and messes

“I do the majority of my crying in here in this room,” Cherry Stewart said. “I just can’t wait for it to be full of laughter and little messes.”

The Stewarts adopted two boys from Haiti more than a year ago.

KSL TV is hiding their faces in pictures and not naming them to protect their identities.

Zachary and Cherry Stewart have adopted two children from Haiti. Recent violence in the country has hung up the adoption. KSL TV is hiding their faces in pictures and not naming them to protect their identities. (Ray Boone, KSL TV)

The paperwork that would send the boys from Haiti to their new home in Orem was close to being completed. However, the paperwork was never finalized because of the chaos and violence that erupted in Haiti in March with gangs taking over the streets.

“They are luckily in a pretty safe place right now, but it is always tenuous. One family we knew had to have their kids evacuated and brought to a safe house because of the violence,” said Zachary Stewart, who is Cherry’s husband.

KSL TV did a story with the Stewarts back in March when this whole ordeal began.

Since then, the government has been in touch with the Stewarts, as well as other families across the country, including some from Utah, dealing with the same concerns.

“The State Department called us and said they would help the children in succession, the ones who were closest to coming home, that they would get them each out,” Cherry Stewart said. “They even asked for evacuation information from these children. It was very promising and it all fell apart.”

Getting the kids home sooner

The Stewarts have since joined with more than 20 other families in hiring the Fox Rothschild law firm that deals with difficult international adoptions.

The family hopes it means their kids will get home quicker.

“They helped some U.S. families with adoptions in Ukraine when Russian invaded,” Cherry Stewart said.

“Seventy kids. We are not asking to move mountains. We are just trying to get 70 kids home,” Zachary Stewart said.

They are hoping someone in Congress can help.

“We are fighting for every child to come home,” Cherry Stewart said. “We really need a champion. We really hope it will come from our Utah senators and congressmen. We have received really positive feedback but we are still waiting for someone to stand up and say let’s do this.”

Zachary and Cherry Stewart hope when their adopted children from Haiti finally arrive in Utah that they will truly know they are at home. (Ray Boone, KSL TV)

The family also said anybody who wants to help can call or email their federal representative to let them know these kids matter.

For the Stewarts, they just hope it happens soon because there is nothing like a birthday party when a kid can play with their new toys in person.

“We talk to them all the time,” Zachary Stewart said. “It is fun because they will recognize it. We talk to them through the phone in the room so hopefully when they get home, they feel like they truly, are coming home to their mom and dad and this is our room.”

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Utah family obtains legal assistance to help get children they adopted out of Haiti