I flew 4,000 miles to give birth on a beach — now I’m trapped like a prisoner

A British woman, Iuliia Gurzhii, ventured 4,000 miles to an exotic beach to give birth, but now finds herself in a distressing situation along with her three-month-old baby in the same exotic locale, feeling as if she’s confined like a prisoner.

Iuliia, aged 38, and her husband Clive, aged 51, embarked on a journey to Rodney Bay, St Lucia, with the aspiration of embracing the most “natural” birthing experience for their second child. However, Iuliia’s water broke earlier than anticipated, leading to the birth of their daughter, Louisa, aboard a boat on April 23.

Despite the extraordinary start to Louisa’s life, the family has been ensnared in a vexing bureaucratic maze, unable to register the newborn’s birth or obtain a passport for her to return to their home country. The distressing situation has left the parents grappling with dwindling resources and a sense of abandonment.

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Their efforts to register Louisa’s birth at Owen King European Union (OKEU) Hospital were thwarted, as the time lapse since her birth exceeded 24 hours. The family’s attempts at the registry office were similarly fruitless, given that Louisa’s birth did not occur in a hospital and lacked witnesses.

Seeking assistance at the immigration office and the passport office in St Lucia only led to more hurdles. Proof of parentage and birth location became requisites, further complicating their predicament. Desperation prompted Iuliia and Clive to seek aid from the UK High Commission in nearby Grenada, where they were met with the demand for a DNA test to establish parentage.

Parents receive adoption offer for a girl, discover she's biological daughter switched at birth

As they await the outcome of the DNA test, Iuliia and Clive remain suspended in uncertainty, caught in an unforeseen ordeal that has stretched for months. Their older child, Elizabeth, is left behind in England, adding to their distress as the separation continues.

The allure of an exotic paradise has been marred by the harsh realities of their circumstances, particularly as hurricane season approaches. Financial strains compound their woes, with escalating flight costs and mounting credit card debt.

Amidst their ordeal, the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office offered consular support to the family in St Lucia, yet specifics remained undisclosed. The tale of Iuliia and Clive underscores the stark contrast between their initial vision of an idyllic birth on an exotic beach and the complex challenges that have unfolded, leaving them entangled in a web of bureaucracy and uncertainties.

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