Vincent and David who adopted two children in South Africa> They battled to get their birth certificates so they could get passports for them to live in France. They have now left with the children for France. Seen here Tues 17 before they left. Handout

Cape Town - A French couple who were in limbo in South Africa while they waited for the Department of Home Affairs to issue their children’s post-adoption papers are to spend their first night at home in France with their sons on Thursday night.

The Cape Argus reported last week that David, 42, and Vincent, 40, who arrived in South Africa on March 21 to finalise the adoptions of two boys, aged 2 and 14 months, had to turn to the Western Cape High Court after delays by the Department of Home Affairs in issuing the documentation.

The full names of the couple are being withheld to protect the identities of their children.

Their attorney, Debbie Wybrow, said there had been delays by the department in noting the adoption orders and in issuing new unabridged birth certificates for the children.

The couple also feared that they would be forced to stay in the country illegally if the department didn’t issue the documents before their visitor visas expired at midnight on Thursday.

Wybrow said on Wednesday that the court application had resulted in the department releasing the documentation required by the French consulate to issue visas and travel papers for the boys.

“We are grateful to the French authorities who, on the basis of the older child acquiring his unabridged birth certificate, on humanitarian grounds issued a Laissez-Passer (travel document) for the younger boy so that the family could leave together.”

David and Vincent fought for nine years to be able to start a family through adoption.

David said it was difficult for same-sex couples to adopt in France and the couple had decided to adopt from South Africa, where they were married in a civil union.

All documentation was completed on Tuesday and the family left for France on Wednesday.

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Cape Argus