Some of our families' stories
Here are some heartbreaking accounts of the real impact of the UK visa rules on children and families.
If you are from the media and interested in more stories please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
Gillian – mother of 3 boys
When the family arrived in the UK, the older children were detained at Heathrow, denied entry and were booked on flights to New York by themselves. Their passports were confiscated, they were fingerprinted and photographed. They had to return in 3 days to be removed from the country (after the parents appealed to not send them back immediately). They hired a lawyer to have it overturned, and they were given 6 months to sort out the situation. They hired a lawyer who advised them to apply under article 8 of the human rights act, that they have a right to live with their family. After 9 months this was denied, and the boys were told they had to leave. The father took a leave of absence from work to take them back to the US. It was only after that the mother took their story to the press that visas were finally granted
“My two sons who were deported are adopted. Part of why they were denied visas, and it's harder to get visas for them, is because they are adopted. It's not a part of the story I emphases very much (although that was how it was run in the Guardian), because I think the MIR is the biggest issue to tackle. However, adopted children should not be treated any differently under immigration rules, and they are. I understand if it's a completely new adoption and you're bringing in a child that there has to be checks, but these children were adopted more than 10 years prior and should not be treated any differently to my biological children.
One of these children is now seeing a counsellor for depression, and one is seeing a paediatrician for behaviourial issues. My other, biological child who was not deported, is not seeing anyone.
To be adopted can be hard for any child, but to be deported on top of that - rejected twice, essentially - could seriously affect a child's mental health.”