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Unique Questions, Concerns: What’s the Legal Status of a Child Out of Wedlock in UAE?

In UAE, they are acknowledged legally, but certain procedures must be followed to confirm their legal status

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Pavitra Shetty

Published on May 18, 2024, 12:31:16


child out of wedlock in uae, wedlock, uae, family, family laws

Welcoming a new addition to the family is a precious occasion for any parent. However, for
unmarried couples in the UAE, it can give rise to unique concerns and questions.

This article aims to explore the legal issues, societal perceptions and practical aspects associated with the
birth of a child out of wedlock in the UAE.

Parenthood is a profound journey, but for unmarried couples in the UAE, it's accompanied by specific legal and societal considerations.

With the UAE's blend of tradition and modernity, navigating the complexities of having a child out of wedlock requires understanding and awareness.

Legal Status of a Child Born Out of Wedlock

In the UAE, children born out of wedlock are acknowledged legally, but certain procedures must be followed to confirm their legal status. This usually includes registering the birth and arranging legal guardianship for the child.

The UAE's family laws have been updated to decriminalise consensual relationships outside of marriage, recognise parentage and simplify the process of applying for birth certificates.

These legal changes establish a framework that protects the rights and respects the dignity of every child, regardless of their parents' marital status.

Consequences of Having a Baby Before Marriage

The new law allows unmarried couples to live together without facing legal consequences for having a baby before marriage. This change reflects a significant modernisation of the country's legal system and acknowledges evolving social norms in the UAE.

However, it's important to remember that the law still prohibits sex outside of marriage, so unmarried couples should be cautious and discreet.

Having a baby before marriage can be complex, and couples need to understand the laws and regulations related to pregnancy and childbirth, seek medical guidance and make informed choices.

While Dubai offers excellent healthcare facilities in a modern and cosmopolitan environment, it's crucial to respect local laws and customs.

Procedure for Unmarried Couples to Apply for a Birth Certificate

The procedure for unmarried couples to apply for a birth certificate for their newborn in the
UAE involves following specific legal steps as outlined by the authorities.

  • If the father is known, the biological parents can apply for their baby's UAE birth certificate through a separate form, without needing a marriage certificate.
  • Download a separate form from the Abu Dhabi Courts website.
  • Both parents must sign the application form's declaration confirming their status as the baby's biological parents.
  • Attach a copy of the biological father's valid Emirates ID and passport.
  • Provide a document to prove the birth, either from the hospital or home.
  • Submit the application form.

If Father is Not Known

Additionally, a new UAE law passed in October 2022 extends the right for unmarried mothers to apply for a birth certificate even if the father is not known.

  • Unmarried mothers can apply for their baby's UAE birth certificate through a separate form, without needing the involvement of the father or a marriage certificate.
  • Download the form from the official Abu Dhabi Judicial Department website.
  • Fill in the required details and sign the declaration confirming the baby's father is unknown.
  • Provide a copy of the mother's passport and valid Emirates ID.
  • Submit the completed form and supporting documents at any UAE typing centre or by e-mailing digital copies to civilfamilycourt@adjd.gov.ae.
  • Upon submission, the court issues an order within 48 hours, allowing the mother to obtain a birth certificate for her child.

 New Laws

The new laws in the UAE, enacted in January this year, bring hope to unmarried expatriate couples. These laws say that if a child is born to unmarried parents he/she will still be recognised in the UAE. The new laws make it okay for unmarried couples to have children together, as long as they take care of the child.

However, there are some important rules to remember. Article 410 of Federal Law No: 31 of 2021 says that if a woman over 18 has a baby after having consensual sex, both the man and the woman could go to jail for at least two years.

But there's another law, Article 1 of Resolution No 3 of 2021, which says that any parent who lives in the UAE can apply for a birth certificate for their child in the Dubai Courts. They don't need to show a marriage certificate anymore.

Article 2 explains how to do this. Even if the parents don't want to get married, they can still get a birth certificate for their child by showing they're the parents and can provide all the needed documents.

If the parents can't agree on registering the child's birth, they might face legal trouble.

Societal Attitudes

People's opinions about having children out of wedlock can vary in the UAE. While some people are open-minded, others might have more traditional views. It's essential to be aware of these attitudes and respect them.

Practical Considerations

For unmarried parents in the UAE, there might be some challenges when it comes to legal paperwork and guardianship for the child. It's important to understand the process and make sure everything is done correctly.

Having a child out of wedlock in the UAE comes with its own set of considerations, but with the right knowledge and understanding, unmarried couples can navigate this journey with confidence.

By following the legal procedures, respecting societal attitudes, and addressing practical concerns, parents can focus on welcoming their bundle of joy into the world with love and care. 

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004. Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.