Dubai: What will be the rights of our baby born out of wedlock?

A New Penal Law came into effect from January 2, 2022.



File
File
by

Ashish Mehta

Published: Sun 6 Feb 2022, 10:27 AM

Last updated: Sun 6 Feb 2022, 10:48 PM

Q1. My girlfriend and I are planning to relocate to Dubai soon as I have been offered a good job. She is now three months pregnant. If we remain unmarried, what will be the status of our baby? Can I sponsor the visa of baby and mother? Can the baby take my surname? Will my girlfriend and newborn be eligible for insurance cover offered by the company to spouse and child?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, as you are planning to relocate to Dubai along with your girlfriend who is already pregnant, the provisions of UAE Decree Law No (31) of 2021 concerning the Penal Code (the ‘New Penal Law’) and the provisions of Law No. 11 of 2013 Concerning Health Insurance in the Emirate of Dubai (the ‘Dubai Health Insurance Law’) shall be applicable.

It should be noted that the New Penal Law came into effect from January 2, 2022.

Article 410 of the New Penal Law contains detailed provisions in respect of cohabitation by unmarried couples and bearing of children by such couples. The provisions thereof are roughly translated as follows:

“Anyone who has sexual intercourse with a female who has completed 18 years of age and has given birth to a child, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of not less than two years. The female shall be punished with the same penalty.

“In all cases, a criminal case is not filed against them if a man marries a woman, or one or both acknowledges the paternity of the new-born child, and the identification papers and travel documents have been extracted for the child according to the laws of the country of which either is a national, and also considering the applicable laws of the country (UAE), and the consequence of this marriage or acknowledgment or the issuance of identification papers and travel documents for the child shall not give rise to a criminal case, or suspension of the execution of the penalty, as the case may be.”

Based on the aforementioned provision of law, you and your girlfriend may travel to the UAE and you may continue to cohabit, provided she is above 18 years of age.

In the event, she delivers a child in the UAE, the following provisions shall be complied with:

a) You may marry your girlfriend; or

b) You and/or your girlfriend must singly or jointly acknowledge the child and provide identification papers and travel documents in accordance with the applicable laws of your respective country.

In the event the local authorities in the UAE acknowledge and confirm that you are father of your newborn child, then you may include your surname to your newborn child’s name.

It is the responsibility of the employer to provide health insurance policy to its employees in Dubai. This is in accordance with Article 10 of the Dubai Health Insurance Law.

However, your prospective employer may not be obligated to provide a health insurance policy for your family or dependents. It is the responsibility of the individual to obtain a health insurance policy for his family and dependents. This is in accordance with Article 11 of the Dubai Health Insurance Law, which states, “The sponsor shall be obliged of the following:

1. Cover the persons sponsored thereby if they have not been covered by the employer thereof.

2. Bear the cost of such health insurance coverage rather than making the beneficiaries bear such costs.

3. Verify that the health insurance of the persons sponsored thereby is valid for the length of their residence or visiting period.

4. Bear the health services and medical intervention costs in emergencies for any of the persons sponsored thereby if any of them has no health insurance in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

5. Give the persons sponsored thereby the health insurance card.

6. Provide the health insurance policy upon the residence or visiting issuance or renewal of the persons sponsored thereby.

7. Any other obligations specified by the Authority pursuant to the resolutions issued thereby in such concern.”

ALSO READ:

If your prospective employer is offering health insurance to the spouse and children of its employees, then your child from your girlfriend may be eligible. But your prospective employer may not offer health insurance to your girlfriend as she is not your spouse.

You may contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai for further clarifications.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


More news from Legal