UK couple leave newborn daughter in Philippines amid passport fight

Baby Selene who is currently being cared for by her grandparents as her parents fight government bureaucrats to secure her a passport.

Government bureaucrats have forced a couple to leave their newborn daughter in the Philippines as they fight to secure her a passport.

Henry Curteis and his Filipina wife Shane, who live in the county of Shropshire, travelled to visit family members in Manila in April.

The BBC has reported that she gave birth to their daughter Selene while out there, and they have since been unable to obtain a passport for her to return home.

The Home Office originally told the couple that they had lost the relevant paperwork, before claiming that they hadn’t received it in the first place.

The couple returned to Shropshire in May so their other children, Charlie, aged 10, and Shaun, six, could go to school. Their daughter was left in the care of Shane’s parents.

Mr and Mrs Curteis in the with their two sons. Picture via Facebook.

Henry, 62, said: “My wife talks on the phone to her for a day, but I can’t handle it. It do it for a few minutes but I can’t do anymore.

“It is ridiculous, we haven’t been told the truth and it is an unbelievable situation to be in.

“We got the paperwork to them and thought it would maybe take a month to sort, but we heard nothing.

“We’ve been told they’ve lost paperwork, or claimed not to receive it but they have been sent everything.

“They have acknowledged that she is a citizen, as me and my wife are. They haven’t said there need to be other checks or anything.”

Bureaucrats promise action

On Monday (July 16) they are due to return to the Philippines to see their daughter, in the hope that matters can swiftly be resolved.

However, they will have to wait until at least next month to if Selene will be granted a passport.

Henry added: “We’ve had to explain to the boys what is happening. We are going back out there and Monday so we are just having to wait to see what happens.

“My wife has said she is staying out there if we haven’t got a passport by the end of the six-week stay.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We fully appreciate that the wait for Selene’s passport is a distressing time for the Curteis family and we are working to complete all of our necessary checks as soon as possible.”


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