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November 04, 2012|
Sadly a great number of children are abandoned in the United Arab Emirates each year. Most likely this is as a result of young mothers being fearful of the repercussions of bearing a child outside wedlock. It is a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates to have a sexual relationship outside marriage.
In practice without clear evidence of the offence, no criminal sanctions are implemented. However the birth of a child to unmarried parents is clear evidence. 6 newborn babies were found abandoned in the UAE in 2011 alone. The publicity of these abandoned children has led to the issue of adoption being discussed frequently in the local press.
The laws of the UAE prohibit adoption within the UAE by non-Emirati couples. This means that only Emirati citizens holding UAE passports may adopt abandoned children from the UAE. Expatriate couples residing in the UAE must look abroad to adopt children, typically to Ethiopia or Mexico. The adoption process for expatriates can still be conducted from the United Arab Emirates, regardless of the nationality of the parents.
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