A British couple have won their battle with bureaucrats, who forced them to leave their baby in the Philippines as they wouldn’t issue a passport.
As we have previously reported, Henry and Shane Curteis from Shropshire were visiting Shane’s family in Manila when she gave birth in April.
The couple then gathered all the relevant paperwork, and applied for a passport for baby Selene.
However, the couple — who are both British citizens — then hit a bureaucratic brick wall.
To begin with, the Home Office told the couple that they had lost the paperwork. Then, they changed tack and claimed that they hadn’t received it in the first place.
Eventually, officials conceded that they did have the paperwork, but were unable to issue the passport until “checks are satisfactorily completed”.
After several weeks of pressing their case, the couple returned to the UK in May so their other children, Charlie, aged 10, and Shaun, six, could go to school. Their daughter was left in the care of her grandparents.
Mr Curteis, a renowned jeweller, said his frustration was particularly acute as the family had not been given any indication about when the issues would be resolved.
Bureaucrats finally relent
However, after a meeting with officials last week, the passport was finally approved.
Mr Curteis said the bureaucrats only relented after needlessly declaring the application a “special case”.
“It is just an ordinary straightforward case where it was looking like we were going to be waiting five or six months from the birth of the child,” he added.
A Home Office spokesman told the BBC: “We always aim to process applications as quickly as possible, although Her Majesty’s Passport Office will not issue a passport until all checks upon nationality, identity and eligibility are satisfactorily completed.”