Shropshire couple’s bid to bring baby daughter to UK

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    Baby SeleneImage copyright Henry Curteis
    Image caption Baby Selene has been cared for by her grandparents in the Philippines, while her parents try to secure a passport for her

    A British couple say their baby is being cared for by grandparents in the Philippines because the Home Office has not granted her a passport.

    Henry Curteis and his wife Shane said they had been trying to bring daughter Selene to Ellesmere, Shropshire, since she was born abroad in April.

    The couple had to return to the UK in May and said there was “something wrong with the system”.

    The Home Office said it was working to finish “checks as soon as possible”.

    ‘Distressing time’

    Mr Curteis, 62, a British citizen by birth, said the family was planning to return to the Philippines on Monday to bring Selene home, but still had no passport.

    Mrs Curteis, 32, a citizen since January 2016, is going to stay with her parents for as long as it takes to bring the child home.

    Jeweller Mr Curteis said he had provided all the necessary information, but the Passport Office said documents had been sent to the wrong office.

    He said he had re-sent proof of the baby’s address in Manila, and confirmation that his wife has not been married before, as requested, but the office said it had not been received.

    “It’s very disappointing that we can’t get an answer,” Mr Curteis said. “We really feel quite dissatisfied with things. If we could just get a date of when we could bring her home.

    Image copyright Henry Curteis
    Image caption The Curteis family have been separated from their third child since May

    “You put it out of your mind really. If you think about if too much… we’re looking forward very much to seeing her next week. It’s been very tough for my wife and on occasions for me, too.”

    The couple, who have been married for seven years, have two older children, Charlie, 10, and Shaun, six, also born in the Philippines, but these children had not experienced similar passport problems, they said.

    A Home Office spokesperson 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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