An Italian citizen living in the UK adopted a baby under Guatemalan law. Guatemalan adoptions are not recognised in the UK, so the baby needed a visa to come here for re-adoption through the UK courts. The visa was refused. Amid concerns about illegal adoptions in Guatemala and unethical practices, the visa officer felt there were inconsistencies in statements given by the birth mother and the Guatemalan lawyer who handled the adoption.
This was an emotionally charged matter. The baby could not come to the UK without a visa. After three months in Guatemala, the adoptive mother took the baby to Italy on a visitor's visa to wait out the appeal process. We persuaded the UK immigration judge to allow the appeal and to direct that the baby's visa be issued in Rome. Our client returned home to the UK with her baby daughter.