A British couple who say they flew across the Atlantic Ocean so that the wife could give birth on a Caribbean beach are now stranded in Grenada with their four-month-old baby and feel like they are prisoners, because they cannot leave until certain formalities over the registration of the birth of the child–apparently born on a boat somewhere in the Caribbean–are satisfied.
The couple have been unable to register the newborn’s birth or apply for a passport. As reported by the Mirror, they left Tameside in Greater Manchester and travelled to Rodney Bay in St Lucia so Iuliia could fulfil her dream of the most “natural” birth on a beach there.
But her waters broke at sea – and baby Louisa was born on April 23, 2023. Ever since, they have been in a battle against bureaucracy to get her home.
To make matters worse, their eight-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, remains at home in the UK because they couldn’t get her passport renewed. Initially, they were told by a hospital they couldn’t register their baby’s birth because she was more than 24 hours old.
Then, an immigration office said they needed proof the baby was theirs, before a passport office said they couldn’t help because the couple had no proof of where Louisa was born. And now they claim the UK High Commission said they needed a DNA test – which they are still waiting to get the results for.
Clive Gurzhii, a sports coach, from Tameside, Greater Manchester, said: “We have been passed around different agencies and nobody will help us. We are running out of money.
“We will soon run out of food, and nobody is helping us. We are essentially stateless – we are more than abandoned. We are prisoners in a country that we are not allowed to leave.”
The couple left the UK in March earlier this year when Iuliia was 35 weeks pregnant. Louisa, was born at sea at 12.40am on April 23, weighing 6.6lb.
A few days later, the parents went to the Owen King European Union (OKEU) Hospital, in St Lucia, to get checked over and register their daughter’s birth. But they claim they were told they couldn’t because it was not within 24 hours of her birth.
Clive said: “We headed over to the registry office and filled in the forms for a birth certificate. We waited for a couple of weeks and the registry office came back and said they couldn’t do anything as the baby wasn’t born in the hospital and nobody witnessed the birth.”
The new parents then went to the immigration office in St Lucia for help and claim they were told they would need proof that the baby was theirs. The family then contacted the passport office in Castries, St Lucia – hoping to secure an emergency passport for their baby.
Clive said: “We don’t have enough money for flights. When we came over here, they were £600 each and now they are a few grand. I am £6,000 in debt on the card. We are running out of money.
“We keep being called by the Foreign Office and they ask us if we have an update for them. They should be the ones helping us get out of here.”
A Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said: “We have offered consular support to a British family in St Lucia.”
Sources: Edinburgh Live, Daily Mirror.