An American family is stuck in Brazil: they have not been given a document for a newborn child for 3 months due to a bureaucratic snag - ForumDaily
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An American family is stuck in Brazil: they have not been given a document for a newborn child for 3 months due to a bureaucratic snag

An American couple gave birth to a baby three months premature while on vacation in Brazil. Now the family is faced with a bureaucratic nightmare - a Brazilian court refuses to issue the baby a birth certificate, reports Dailymail.

Baby Boy Holding Mothers Hand


Sheri and Chris Phillips of Cambridge, Minnesota, took a two-week trip to Brazil with the approval of their doctors. Sheri was six months pregnant.

Unplanned birth

The birth wasn't due until early June, but two days before she was scheduled to return home, Sheri was hospitalized due to pregnancy complications, resulting in an unexpected caesarean section.

“At first I thought I just had a stomach ache,” Sheri Phillips said. “But in the middle of the night I started bleeding.” I told Chris I needed to go to the hospital."

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“Eventually it became obvious that our son would be born,” Chris Phillips noted. “I was in the operating room with my wife, and it was terrible. I don't speak their language and had no idea what was going on most of the time. This is scary".

Their son Grayson was born on March 12 and weighed just over 1 kg. After a harrowing 51-day stay in the NICU, newborn Grayson was finally medically cleared to leave the hospital. Find out more about how an American woman with two uteruses gave birth to unique twins in our material.

Return problems

But the family's return to the United States proved impossible. Americans have faced a number of challenges in obtaining documentation for their newborn. This left them stranded in Brazil.

“We essentially found ourselves in bureaucratic limbo,” Chris stated.

A Brazilian court refused to issue Grayson a birth certificate because of a requirement for his parents' names on their U.S. passports.

“The main obstacle was the local registry office, called the cartorio. “He refuses to issue Grayson’s birth certificate simply because our American passports do not have our parents’ names on them,” the couple explained.

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And the family needs Grayson's birth certificate to obtain US documents. They had to obtain them from the US consulate or embassy in Brazil on the basis of a certificate.

“Four weeks ago we hired a lawyer to help us get a birth certificate. But after almost a month there are no results. There is no way to know when a judge will start hearing our case, or how long it will take,” Chris emphasized.

The Phillipses tried to get help from Senator Tina Smith's office. She tried to simplify the process of issuing documents.

The family is still waiting for a birth certificate from the Brazilian government.

“We can't stay here forever. We have already spent almost three full months in a foreign country. To return home and be close to loved ones is what we want,” Sheri admitted.

“When we return home, when we finally get to our home in Cambridge, it will be a time to celebrate,” Chris concluded.

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