WOMAN BATTLES TO GAIN PASSPORT FOR ADOPTED SON
Row: Woman hits out at‘ hideous’ treatment fromthe Home Office
A woman who adopted a baby to save his life has been left devastated following an unsuccessful three-year battle with officials to get a British passport for her son.
Debbie Rafferty, 51, who is originally from Alford, rescued little Alfie when she realised he was at risk of abandonment, mistreatment or death due to being conceived by an unmarried woman.
However, she has struggled to get citizenship for Alfie because her application to the Home Office was refused – leaving the youngster stateless.
Mrs Rafferty works as a security consultant in a south-east Asian country, which she cannot reveal details of due to the nature of her employment, where she adopted Alfie.
After a failed attempt to get him a British passport she is upset at the way she has been treated by the Home Office.
“They have treated us hideously since the application was rejected,” she said. “They see him as just a number.”
Alfie is three years old and currently has a passport under the same nationality as his birth mother but it will not be renewed.
“We’re running out of time,” said Mrs Rafferty, “He’s only got one page
“Theyhave treated us hideously since the rejection”
left in his passport because everywhere he goes he needs a visa.
Having a British passport would offer Alfie freedom to travel with his parents and also grant him citizenship in the country.
In a letter to the family, the Home Office said: “The country in which your son’s application took place was not recognised by United Kingdom law at the time of adoption.”
It stated that his case did not meet the requirement because it was “not an adoption under the terms of the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption”.
Mrs Rafferty appealed this decision five months ago but has still not heard back from immigration officials.
A Ho me Office spokesman said: “The case is ongoing and so it would be inappropriate to comment.”
APPEAL: Alfie Rafferty’s case has been appealed by his adopted mother Debbie after it was initially rejected