Having a child out of wedlock in UAE

Having a child out of wedlock in UAE

Family Law – UAE and UK

For many unmarried Expatriate couples in the UAE, the new Laws which came into force in January this year, provided hope and reassurance that any child born to them could be recognised in the UAE.  

The new Law effectively decriminalizes consensual relationships out of wedlock, providing that any child conceived as a result of the relationship is acknowledged and will be cared for.  It is important to be aware that Article 410 of the Federal Law No : 31 of 2021 concerning the UAE penal code states that anyone who has sexual intercourse with a female of 18 years or above and has given birth to a child, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of not less than two years. This applies to both the man and the woman. 

However, Article 1 of Resolution No 3 of 2021, decrees that without prejudice to the declaration of conditions of paternity, either of the parents who are resident in UAE, may apply to the Dubai Courts for obtaining a birth certificate for the child.  Article 2 of the same resolution goes on to outline the procedure for obtaining a birth certificate for the child.  The previous pre-requisite of producing a marriage certificate to register a birth is no longer a requirement.  Therefore, even if the parties do not wish to marry, upon providing declarations that they are the parents and they will be able to provide all relevant documents (identification papers and travel documents) to register the child in the UAE, the UAE Courts will have the discretion to approve the granting of the birth certificate for the child.  In the absence of the parents’ agreement to register the birth of a child, a criminal case may be filed against the parents. 

The above is a general commentary on the various matters and should not be construed as specific legal advice.  For further information or advice in relation to any family matters, please contact Dee Popat or our Family Department at James Berry & Associates Legal Consultants.

Related Articles