Kid of Hindu dad, Muslim mum gets birth certificate in UAE
Abu Dhabi - Sharjah-based expat Kiran Babu and Sanam Saboo Siddique got married in the Indian state of Kerala in 2016.
The UAE has set another precedent in the Year of Tolerance by issuing a birth certificate for a baby born to a Hindu father and a Muslim mother - both Indian expats. According to the country's marriage rules for expatriates, a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman; however, Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man.
In this case, Sharjah-based expat Kiran Babu and Sanam Saboo Siddique got married in the Indian state of Kerala in 2016.
The couple landed in the UAE in 2017 and encountered no difficulty with the visa process. It was only when their baby was born in July 2018 that they faced an unexpected situation.
"I have an Abu Dhabi visa. I get my insurance coverage there and got my wife admitted to Medeor 24X7 Hospital in the emirate. But after the baby's delivery, the birth certificate was rejected as I am a Hindu. Then, I applied for a no-objection certificate through the court. The trial went on for four months but my case was rejected."
Left with no option since the baby didn't have any legal documents, Babu tried a way out during the amnesty period.
"Those days were stressful and the amnesty was a window of hope. The Indian Embassy helped with the provision of an outpass. But the baby was denied immigration clearance as there was no data or registration number to prove her birth."
Babu pinned his hopes on the embassy. "Embassy counsellor M. Rajamurugan supported us throughout the process. Then, VPS Healthcare got involved. At the end, the judicial department made my case an exception. I was told that from now on, in such cases, we have to put together a request letter, get it approved by the chief justice, and take it to the health authority for the issuance of a birth certificate."
And on April 14, a day before the Hindu festival of Vishu, the family received vishukaineetam (a token of blessing) from the UAE authorities: A birth certificate in the name of Anamta Aceline Kiran. "I am told that this is the first case where the rule has been amended."
Babu has now sent his wife and baby to Kerala. "Those few months were taxing for us all. My baby girl is nine months old and she needs vaccinations. My family is thankful to the UAE leaders, authorities, the embassy and VPS Healthcare," he added.
All praise for leaders' wisdom
Counsellor M. Rajamurugan said the ground-breaking ruling from the court will serve as a precedent for future cases.
"Since the baby was born at Medeor 24X7 Hospital, which comes under VPS Healthcare, I contacted Shamsheer Vayalil who offered his full assistance. Babu again went to court and, this time, his case was approved. This highlights the great wisdom of the leadership of this country in the Year of Tolerance."
Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, VPS Healthcare founder and managing director, lauded the local authorities for their understanding.
"It is a great development as the country celebrates the Year of Tolerance. I salute the system for being so open. I thank the leadership and judiciary for this initiative," he said.