Forced to live as a virtual family After flying to the Philippines to be with his girlfriend, Wayne, 39, couldn't be happier to start a family. But he never imagined it'd be so hard to meet his little girl ...

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WAYNE’S STORY WAS SOLD AS AN EXCLUSIVE TO ‘CHAT’ MAGAZINE. HAVE YOU BEEN FORCED APART FROM A LOVED ONE AND WANT TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE SITUATION? IF SO, GET IN TOUCH WITH US TODAY.

Wayne, 39, met Philippino Gerlie online in late 2006.

After six months of constant chatting, Wayne hopped on a plane to meet his cyber lover, also 39.

The couple clicked and Wayne, not wanting to say goodbye, decided to extend his two week trip.

In September 2007 the couple married then, just months later, Gerlie found out she was pregnant.

When baby Adam, now five, was born he kept on getting sick – there was a lack of clean water and basic medication.

After two years together, Wayne and Gerlie decided it would be best for their child’s health to move to the UK.

Their plan: Wayne would go first with Adam, find a house, and start his wife’s visa application

With the family together, Gerlie would then look after the children while Wayne found another job in technical support. It seemed like the perfect plan, but quickly fell apart …

Just before Wayne flew home in summer 2009, Gerlie found out she was pregnant again. It meant Wayne missed the birth of Angela, now four.

Then came another blow … for Gerlie’s permanent visa, Wayne had to prove he had £18,600 in the bank.

Wayne would have to work in order to get the money he needed, but there was another problem – as his child’s sole carer, and with no one else to help, it was impossible for him to return to a full-time job.

Desperate, Wayne contacted his local MEP and even Downing Street. He received no help.

He’s now spent nearly FIVE YEARS trying to be reunited with his family … and to meet his little girl for the first time.

It’s only recently, with Adam starting school, that Wayne has been free to look for work.

He’s currently completing an ICT training course to ensure his technical skills are up-to-date. But even when finished he’ll have to work around his son’s school day.

It means it will be years before Wayne has the money to get his wife … if ever at all.

For the time being, Wayne and Adam chat online to Gerlie and Angela every day. They’re a virtual family.

Little Adam has only ever met his sister through a computer and can barely remember the touch of his own mum. He regularly asks about Gerlie and when he can see her.

Wayne says: “I’m stuck. I can’t get the money I need without my wife with me. But I need the money to do that.

“It’s frustrating. There’s a list of countries whose citizens can just come to the UK and stay visa-free, but my wife can’t. My family is literally split in half because of it.

“It looks like we’ll never be together, and it’s heartbreaking to think I may never meet my daughter.

“But despite everything, we’re still in a very happy relationship. Nothing can split that up.”

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