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Ever since their son, Greyson, was born 12 weeks premature in March while Cheri and Chris Phillips were on a trip to Brazil, the Phillips family has been stuck in a Brazilian bureaucratic nightmare.

Because of a technicality, Brazilian authorities at the local cartório, which is similar to a public notary, refused to issue his birth certificate. Without a birth certificate, Greyson couldn't get a U.S. passport. And without a U.S. passport, Greyson couldn't go home to Minnesota.

But after the intercession of U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, and after massive media coverage in Minnesota and national media as well as the Brazilian press, Greyson Leo Phillips finally has a path home to Cambridge, where friends and family helped move the Phillipses' belongings into their new home while they've been stuck in Brazil.

Two Brazilian bureaucrats recently visited the Phillips family at the Airbnb where they've been staying in Florianópolis, a coastal city about 700 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro. After months of headaches and hiring a Brazilian lawyer, the bureaucrats had the family fill out a simple form and issued Greyson's birth certificate.

"After nine weeks of being caught between two entirely separate and largely irreconcilable bureaucratic systems, we finally have some glimmer of hope that we will be able to fly home at the end of June," Chris said in a text message. "It is unfortunate that this sudden change of fortunes required media involvement in both the U.S. and Brazil, particularly with regards to obtaining our son's Brazilian birth certificate."

"Our journey isn't over quite yet but, at long last, Greyson finally has a path home."

The U.S. Embassy will be sending a representative to Florianópolis next week for the next steps: interviews for his Consular Report of Birth Abroad and for his U.S. passport.

The family is scheduled to fly to Minnesota June 25, and they're cautiously optimistic that there won't be further obstacles.

"Not on our way yet," Chris said in a text message Wednesday. "Not until we've got his passport, and there are still several hurdles to get past before that happens."

Chris, who used to live in Brazil, has a daughter from a previous relationship who lives with her mother in Florianópolis. The family had been visiting for his daughter's 8th birthday. Chris said the only silver lining in their bureaucratic drama has been spending an extended amount of time with his daughter, Melory, and Melory spending quality time with baby Greyson.

The family's travails caught quite a bit of attention in Brazil, where bureaucratic messes like this can be frequent headaches. Their story has been featured in numerous Brazilian news outlets — O Globo and Exame and UOL Notícias and more — and will be featured this weekend on Domingo Espetacular, a popular national investigative television news show.

"Down here, this is causing quite a stir in some circles," Chris said in a text message. "They're really going after the cartório (and the cartório system in general)."