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Couple so desperate to have children they are willing to move from Cornwall to Ukraine

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 28, 2014

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A childless couple are so desperate to start a family they are planning to move to strife-torn Ukraine to adopt a young orphan girl.

Terence Voysey, 52, and wife Heather, 55, have spent the past two years battling with British immigration officials to bring 13-year-old Iryna Mynich to the UK.

She has been denied a visa and the couple are refusing to abandon her and are weighing a move from Bodmin, Cornwall to the poverty-stricken Ukrainian countryside instead.

Despite warnings that the former Soviet state is on the brink of civil war and facing a Russian invasion they say they will leave the comfort of their three-bed home to be with Iryna.

Terence and Heather met the bubbly youngster through a charity which provides holidays for children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

She was staying with them in 2012 when they received a call saying her mother had been murdered.

Iryna returned to her home, just outside Ovruch, north-west Ukraine, to live with her 74-year-old gran who is dying of cancer.

Terence and Heather, who have had several failed IVF attempts, decided to adopt the little girl through the Ukrainian courts.

But when they tried to bring her back to the UK permanently they came up against a wall of red tape.

Terence said: "Iryna was abandoned by her father at birth so she's living with her grandmother and is unable to attend school regularly as she's her grandmother's sole carer.

"Her house is very basic, a timber shack in large fields, the only concession to luxury is electricity, although I wouldn't touch anything, and a cold water tap.

"There is no toilet at all, there is only a very old kitchen sink for any washing. It is like going back to 1900.

"We just want to give her the best possible future."

Recent changes to our immigration laws mean non-EU citizens like Iryna have to have a place at a private school to enter the UK and study but so far no school will accept her.

Terence, a former insurance broker who retired early because of an accident, attempted to secure a six-month visitor visa instead.

But after Iryna had had her fingerprints taken and her flights arranged that too was rejected because officials knew she wanted to stay and study permanently.

Terence says he and NHS worker Heather would be happy to up sticks and head to the Ukraine despite the threat of violence to realise their dream of having a family.

Terence, chair of the North Cornwall Link charity, said: "The immigration system is screwed up.

"The day that the visa agency insisted that she had to go to Kiev to have her eye scan and fingerprints done there was a massacre of over 100 people in Independence Square.

"When she came out of the office she had to walk past all the dead bodies. After the tragedy she had already experienced, this was horrendous.

"We're not going to give up and if we are unable to bring her to the UK, we will move there.

"I like my home comforts but I'd be willing to give it all up so we can look after Iryna.

"Our trip over to Ovruch was life changing - there's lots of poverty, there's no work and nobody has been paid for months because of the crisis.

"But we've started looking at houses over there and prices are generally very cheap.

"You could get a four bedroomed house that in the UK would cost around #250,000 for around #60,000.

"I've even considered going over and living in a motor home temporarily.

"We've always wanted children, we've had several attempts at IVF and this is something we're totally committed to."

Ovruch, one of the oldest cities in Ukraine, has so far remained free of the violence that has rocked the Crimea and country's east.

The Home Office allows Britons to adopt foreign children and bring them home so long as they can't be cared for in a safe environment in their own country and that the adoption is in the child's "best interests".

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  • StanStill  |  May 31 2014, 6:49AM

    Typical of the UK, we let in thousands of scroungers from all over Europe, and give them taxpayers money, but this couple cannot bring in a young child. No doubt the Politically Correct \Brigade(Social workers)will not let them adopt here because of their age, or some other obscure reason.