Woman forced to decide between partner and baby's health
PUBLISHED: 22:14 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:28 21 August 2018
A woman has spoken out after her fiancé was stopped from attending their daughter's birth by the Home Office.
Becky Darmon had intended to spend her life in Morocco with partner Abderrahman Belafi, but decided to give birth in the UK after researching Moroccan birth mortality rates.
Now the 22-year-old claims she is being forced to decide between safe health care or her fiancé.
Miss Darmon, of Swainsthorpe, met Mr Belafi, an English language teacher, in Morocco two-and-a-half years ago, and decided to move to Marrakech permanently, working as a volunteer coordinator.
When she fell pregnant, Miss Darmon researched mother and baby mortality rates in Morocco, and found them to be high.
Returning to England alone, Miss Darmon said the couple applied for a five week tourist visa for Mr Belafi when she was 25 weeks pregnant, with £5,000 of support money ready. Eight weeks later, the Home Office rejected the application.
Miss Darmon said: “They said one of the points was there was no proof he could afford his flight home, but we had already booked a flight home and told them that.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits and in accordance with the immigration rules.
“Mr. Belafi’s application was refused as he failed to provide sufficient evidence of his personal and financial circumstances in Morocco to demonstrate that he was a genuine visitor who would leave the UK at the end of his visit.
“It is open to Mr Belafi to submit a fresh application addressing the reasons for refusal.”
In April at 38 weeks Miss Darmon gave birth via emergency c-section to her daughter Alia, alone, with Mr Belafi on the phone.
Alia has severe anaemia, and has had hypothermia and a blood transfusion. Doctors have recommended she does not travel.
To bring a spouse to the UK with a child permanently, a partner must provide an £22,400 income in the interest of the child.
Miss Darmon said: “If I’m working a 40 hour week to make the money and the dad’s in Morocco, Alia’s going to be in the care of strangers, and how is that in her best interests?”
“She’s still not met her dad, and he’s never been outside of Morocco. It’s sad.”