Woman in UAE wins divorce after husband gets surrogate child
The court heard that the couple could not have a child of their own, and had consulted several fertility clinics in India.
A 37-year-old Indian woman filed a case against her husband, who stayed with her for 15 years without having children, after discovering he had arranged for a surrogate mother to have their baby.
The court heard that the couple could not have a child of their own, and had consulted several fertility clinics in India. In 2015, the Indian husband told her about hiring a surrogate mother.
The woman later learned that her husband not only used a surrogate mother but also registered the infant in her name without her knowledge or consent following which she asked for divorce.
In return for granting her divorce and alimony, she claimed that he forced her to sign a document approving the surrogacy procedure.
A divorce case filed in an Indian court by the couple was rejected and the child was born in March 2016.
"I was not aware that I was named as the mother of the child in the birth certificate and in other official documents," she said.
Records said that after the birth of the child, the woman's husband became abusive and stopped providing for her.
He tried to kick her out of the house and when she refused to leave, he packed his belongings, took all the jewellery and abandoned her. Later, he sent her a letter informing her that the baby girl's birth certificate carries her name as the biological mother.
She repeatedly tried to contact her husband and his family to have this corrected but in vain. This forced her to file a case in Dubai asking for divorce, alimony and for her name to be removed as the child's biological mother.
During court procedures, the 38-year-old husband claimed the surrogacy process was done with his wife's knowledge and consent but she had a change of heart towards the delivery date.
He also pointed out that the procedure was done in India where it's legal and submitted a copy of the Indian law to support his claim requesting his country's law be applied in this case.
"The Indian law can be applied in several cases in the UAE, but not in this specific case because surrogacy is against UAE's laws and public morals," the wife's Emirati lawyer, Awatif Mohammed Khouri, from Al Rowaad Advocates told the court.
Khouri argued that even if foreign laws recognise such procedures, the public morals of the country where the case is being heard, shall supersede the application of foreign laws.
Dubai's Personal Status Court ordered the referral of the child to a DNA test but her father failed to follow the order after which the court ruled in favour of the woman.
"As per the court's judgement, surrogacy was ruled forbidden according to UAE's Islamic principles, which are part of the country's laws and public morals," said Awatif.
"The judgement also stated that surrogacy does not prove lineage of a child and therefore, it decided that my client is not the biological mother of the child even if her egg was used in the process."
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