Woman slams passport service for long delays

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WHAT was meant to be a relaxing way to end the summer has turned into a nightmare for three friends.

The trio have spent two months battling to get a passport so that Emma Baker can join them on a holiday to Turkey.

(l-r) Sophia Briggs, Emma Baker and Rebecca Cowley.

(l-r) Sophia Briggs, Emma Baker and Rebecca Cowley.

Now, they want to warn others of the chaotic system for dealing with people who have been adopted and have criticised the insensitive way the Home Office has handled the application.

Emma, who was adopted aged four, said: ‘It’s ridiculous. They don’t seem to know what their own rules are. I am finding out from other people what I should be finding out from the passport office.’

The 30-year-old sent off for her passport through the ‘check and send’ service at the start of June.

A series of pieces of misinformation meant her application was stalled several times and she was even asked to provide the birth certificates of her estranged adoptive parents, who she hasn’t seen for 16 years after their relationship broke down.

Emma, who runs her own business, has now sworn on oath at court to prove who she is – although she is still yet to receive her passport.

The mum-of-two from Gosport says unless her passport reaches her by tomorrow, then the foreign holiday will have to remain a pipe dream.

She said: ‘At first, coming up with what we were going to do and where we were going to go was exciting. At each stage when something new has come up, it’s like a punch.’

Emma said the long process has left her at least £300 out of pocket and she is yet to have anything to show for it.

Meanwhile, friends Sophia Briggs and Rebecca Cowley, both from Gosport, are waiting with bated breath.

A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Passport Office said: ‘Adoption cases often require additional supporting information and can be particularly sensitive.

‘We will always look to assist the applicant in providing the necessary supporting documentation.

‘We are in contact with Miss Baker and will continue to provide advice to help progress her application as quickly as possible.’