A British woman who flew 4,000 miles to give birth on an exotic beach is now “stranded” with her three-month-old baby in an exotic location and says she “feels like a prisoner.”
Iuliia Gurzhii, 38, and husband, Clive, 51, planned a trip to Rodney Bay, St Lucia, in order to fulfill their dream of welcoming their second child in the most “natural” way possible.
But Iuliia’s water broke earlier than expected and the mom gave birth to baby Louisa on board a boat on Apr. 23.
Since that time, the parents have been trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare, unable to register the newborn’s birth or procure a passport for her to travel back to their home country.
“We have been passed around different agencies and nobody will help us,” Clive cried during an interview with Southwest News Service.
“We are running out of money,” he added. “We will soon run out of food, and nobody is helping us.”
Several days after giving birth on the boat, Iuliia took baby Louisa to Owen King European Union (OKEU) Hospital in St Lucia to register the birth.
However, employees told the mom that they were unable to file any paperwork because it had been more than 24 hours since Louisa was born.
“We headed over to the registry office and filled in the forms for a birth certificate,” Clive explained. “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 but were told they would need proof that the baby was theirs.
The family then contacted a nearby passport office, hoping to secure an emergency passport for the tot.
But more drama ensued when officials told them they could not provide that document as there was no proof of where Louisa was born.
Feeling desperate, Iuliia and Clive sailed to nearby Grenada where they went to the UK High Commission for help with their case.
However, they were told that they would have to do a DNA test to prove that baby Louisa is theirs.
The “traumatized” parents are still waiting for the results of the test and are stuck in limbo until they return.
To make matters worse, the couple left their older child, 8-year-old Elizabeth, at home in England as they believed they would be back from their birth-on-the-beach journey within weeks.
It’s now been close to four months since Iuliia and Clive have seen their oldest daughter.
“I can’t sleep at night,” Iuliia declared. “It is traumatizing. I can’t stop crying, we are begging for help — we have been abandoned.”
And while some may love the prospect of being “trapped” in a tropical paradise, the parents say it’s far from idyllic — particularly with the onset of hurricane season.
“We don’t have enough money for flights,” Clive claimed. “When we came over here, they were £600 ($760) each and now they are a few grand. I am £6,000 ($7,600) in debt on the card. We are running out of money.”
When approached by Southwest News Service for comment, the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office refused to provide specific details.
“We have offered consular support to a British family in St Lucia,” a spokesperson declared.