A law change in the UAE left out-of-wedlock babies in the shadows.
The UAE announced legal reforms that included a new criminal code. State news agency Wam reports that the law decriminalizes consensual relationships outside of marriage and stipulates that any children born due to such a relationship will be recognized and cared for.
The new law doesn’t clearly define the process for unmarried women to obtain birth certificates for their children. However, the law criminalizes women who lack such documentation.
Since the UAE legalized premarital sex in November 2020, unwed mothers no longer face prison. However, they must now deal with a myriad of red tape.
– Last year, premarital sex and cohabitation were decriminalized
– However, registration of babies still requires a marriage certificate
– Unmarried women cannot get health insurance coverage for maternity care
– For some women, administrative disconnection leaves them in limbo
The UAE only issues birth certificates to couples who are married.
Medical care, school attendance, and travel are impossible without the certificates. During prosecutions under the old law, their mothers lost both employment and residency, leaving them stranded. Undocumented children in the UAE are unknown.
The process of obtaining birth certificates for their babies is expensive. How do you know what to do?
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