Following the adoption of the new UAE law, birth certificates can now be given to children whose fathers are unknown. No matter their parents’ marital status or whether their father is known or unknown, the law that took effect in October recognizes children’s right to obtain birth certificates.
According to Hesham Elrafei, a legal expert in the UAE, mothers only need to declare that they are the baby’s mother and submit the request to the court in order to invoke Article 11 of the law. The mother only needs to present the two required documents—the copy of her Emirates ID or passport and the birth notification—according to the two-page birth registration form from the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. According to Elrafei, the new law regulating birth registries can be viewed as a “significant legal development in the history of the Arab region.”
According to him, this is the first time an Arab nation has recognized a single mother’s right to register her child even if the father is not known. Marriage is no longer necessary in order to register a child, according to Article 7 of the law. In Abu Dhabi, this was put into effect in 2020, and the Civil Marriage Law followed in 2021.
A baby born out of wedlock to a known or unknown father is denied a birth certificate and must live as an undocumented child in other Sharia-based jurisdictions in the region. The new family law that governs foreigners’ personal status issues, including civil marriage, divorce, shared child custody, and financial rights, was implemented in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.
As long as their home country does not impose Sharia law on family matters, it is applicable to all expatriates, non-residents, and visitors regardless of their religion. The new civil marriage program established by the secular law permits foreign nationals, visitors, and non-citizens to get married in Abu Dhabi.