Cape Town - Attorneys acting for a French couple who are stuck in South Africa while they wait for their children’s post-adoption papers are expected to bring an urgent court application to compel the Department of Home Affairs to issue the documents immediately.
On Monday, the Cape Argus reported that David, 42, and Vincent, 40, might have to leave South Africa without their adopted sons, aged 2 and 14 months.
Delays by the department in noting the adoption orders and in issuing unabridged birth certificates for the children, mean the family are in limbo in South Africa.
The documents are required for travel to France. The couple’s visitor visas will expire on June 19, but if they don’t have the documents before then, they could be declared “undesirable persons” in terms of South Africa’s new immigration regulations.
On Friday, the couple’s attorney, Debbie Wybrow, told the Cape Argus that written notice had been given to the Department of Home Affairs of the intention to bring an urgent court application against it if by noon yesterday it had not confirmed in writing that the certificates would be available on Tuesday.
On Monday, Wybrow said the department had not confirmed by Monday’s deadline that the documents would be issued and an urgent application to compel them to do so was to be made today.
Meanwhile, the DA said it would approach the portfolio committee on Home Affairs to request that the new regulations be reviewed and debated as soon as possible.
Haniff Hoosen, the party’s spokesman on Home Affairs, said media reports and a public outcry suggested that in less than a month the regulations had ripped families apart and dissuaded investors.
“The regulations’ various omissions and lack of definitions and criteria raise serious concerns and will be subject to misappropriation and abuse by the department and its officials. Furthermore, the full cost of these regulations to our economy and country’s reputation remain to be seen.”
The Department of Home Affairs didn’t respond to requests for comment.