Baby Lateisha gets nationality

Baby Lateisha Julene Clarke, who was born on 2 October on a Cayman Airways flight bound for Jamaica, was Tuesday finally registered.

Her mother, Shellesha Woodstock, had been facing difficulties getting her child’s birth documented, as officials in both The Cayman Islands and Jamaica were uncertain as to where the birth had taken place.

The two-month-old baby was born on Cayman Airways Flight 600 en route to Jamaica after her mother – who had already gone into labour – was advised by hospital officials in The Cayman Islands to return to Jamaica to give birth.

Dr. Patricia Holness, chief executive officer of the Registrar General’s Department, told The Gleaner that the RGD had received all the relevant documentation outlining baby Lateisha’s birth and was now satisfied that the birth took place in Jamaican airspace.

Ms Woodstock was invited to the RGD at its office in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine, where the relevant paper work was done. Baby Lateisha will receive a birth certificate with place of birth noted as “In Jamaican airspace, above Jamaican waters.” Jamaican nationality for the two-month-old is now automatic.

“We (RGD) are happy that we can close the case and are happy to have served Ms Woodstock and her baby,” said Ms Holness.

After the registration process, Ms Woodstock said she was bursting with joy. “It’s like a burden has been lifted,” said the 19-year-old mother.

Baby Lateisha’s registration comes just a week after the Cayman Islands’ government made a public apology to Ms Woodstock and admitted its error in failing to provide the Jamaican mother with “optimal medical care.”