Single women who is pregnant outside of marriage in the United Arab Emirates need not any longer flee the country. The UAE has been turning itself conducive to global attention, investment, and tourist attraction, thanks to how well this nation works on bringing cultures together and understanding differences in view-points. The Middle-Eastern nation has liberalised their laws relating to questions surrounding morality and conditions imposed by faith, turning the nation into a freer space for an international community to comfortably blend in. Under the new law of the United Arab Emirates, it is not a criminal offence to get pregnant out of wedlock. In a new step toward secularizing state laws, she said, single women who are pregnant outside of marriage in the United Arab Emirates can no longer flee the country to have an abortion before marriage.
Reforms to the Law
In light of the recent legislative reforms announced by the United Arab Emirates Government to comply with various laws, including the provisions of the United Arab Emirates Federal Law, cohabitation between married couples has been decriminalised and no longer constitutes a crime. This clarifies that consensual sex and pregnancy outside marriage are not punishable. It is pertinent to note that prior to these reforms, it used to be a criminal offence to engage in sexual relationships with someone not married to the person in question.
Article 356 of the United Arab Emirates Criminal Code was amended to decriminalise the indecent assault by mutual consent, a term used for decades to punish sex outside marriage, cohabitation, extramarital relations and same-sex relationships. In 2020, the UAE amended Article 356 to remove language criminalizing the vague offenses of consensual indecency and degradation, punishable by a minimum of one year in prison, for persons engaged in consensual sexual relationships outside marriage (zina). This amendment also deleted the reference to the application of Islamic law to Hadd offences, including sexual relations outside marriage. In September 2020, UAE government officials introduced an important update to the penal code of the UAE under Federal Decree 15 of 2020, including that premarital sex is no longer a criminal offence in the UAE.
Status of Children Born Out of Wedlock
Here it is pertinent to note that despite the above-mentioned changes is no legal reform on the status of children born out of wedlock. Marriage is a prerequisite in the law of the United Arab Emirates, as it is the only legal link between a man and a woman in order to establish a relationship and a family. According to the Sharia law applicable in the United Arab Emirates, marriage is only a legal bond if one wants to enter into relationships and have children. Many expats are concerned about the new law as Article 356 of the UAE Criminal Code says that any caught with consensual sex outside the marriage will be found guilty and likely will face imprisonment and deportation. Seven months ago, the United Arab Emirates decriminalized premarital sex, but that does not reflect how extramarital pregnancies should be treated, according to government guidance to lawyers and hospital staff. As per UAE Law, marriage is the only legal link between a man and a woman to form a family and have legitimate children.
A woman who has an illegitimate child cannot obtain a birth certificate for her baby if she is unable to present a valid marriage certificate. The law states that unmarried couples expecting a child cannot leave the UAE to apply for their baby's birth certificate. Although women can no longer be locked up for premarital sex, new-borns still require a parent's marriage certificate, health insurance does not provide maternity cover for unmarried women and unmarried women remain wary of seeking medical help. Some women choose to leave the UAE when a pregnancy becomes apparent. In accordance with Articles 89 and 90 of the United Arab Emirates Family Law, which says that the father of a child must admit before a judge that he is the father.
Pregnant women living in the UAE who are still single must either return home or fly to another country. Because a marriage licence is required to obtain any form of maternity care in the country, getting married in Dubai after conception will not suffice to solve the legal problem. Unmarried women who choose to leave the UAE because they are pregnant may find difficulties re-entering the nation after giving birth. In November 2020, the UAE revised the Personal Status Law in order to allow foreign couples to apply their country of residence law on personal status matters instead of UAE Law on Personal Status.
Shifting Sands in UAE’s Sharia Law
The United Arab Emirates announced the decriminalisation of alcohol and suicide in addition to allowing cohabitation between unmarried partners and unmarried sexual relations. There has been an abolition of laws that punish women in the event of pregnancy outside the marriage. Hence, it could be observed that UAE has been making the penal laws more conducive to individuals hailing from diverse backgrounds in terms of worldview and opinions on morality, enabling more scope for working together despite differences.
Divorce has aided such people in these situations by allowing them to seek legal separation from their partner. The financially weaker partner is frequently compensated financially by the financially stronger party in order for them to maintain the same level of living following the separation. Why is alimony necessary? Marriage signifies the start of a relationship that society expects to last a...
- By, Vansh Tayal
A death in the family could be a traumatic experience for all the other family members. In the absence of a Will, the family is further burdened with huge expenses and difficulties to claim their ownership over the assets. The distribution of assets without the Will could be time-consuming and expensive in connection with the possible legalization or attestation of the relevant extracts of the home...
- By, Sankalp Surana
Maternity laws: regulations and benefits Abstract: Maternity and paternity laws provide for organised rules and regulations for the ease of the parents during the pregnancy and after the birth of their babies. Having mandated leaves and provisions provide for a comfortable, healthy and positive environment for the new mother. Both private and public laws of UAE have a positive outlook towards pregnancies...
By Khushi Saxena It is imperative for an emigrant or an investor located overseas who has property and possession in the United Arab Emirates to have a strategic approach to protect their assets for a lifetime. After the recent changes that were announced with respect to the Wills, it is important to understand the advantages and necessity of Wills. IMPORTANCE OF A DIFC WILL...
Regulations for the implementation of the Civil Marriage and Divorce Law for foreigners has been approved by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD). He issued Decision No. 8 of 2022 approving the Regulations for the implementation of the Civil Marriage and Divorce Law No. 14 of 2020 in...
The Karnataka High Court has declared that Breast Feeding is a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Right to Life as per Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Breastfeeding must be recognised as an inalienable right of the lactating mother under both local and international law. Similarly, the right of a suckling new-born to be breastfed must be merged with the fundamental rights of the mother. This...