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UAE Law Amendment Allows Surrogacy for Unmarried and Non-Muslim Couples

In a significant legal change, the UAE has made surrogacy available to unmarried and non-Muslim couples.

In a significant legal amendment, the UAE has opened the door to surrogacy for unmarried and non-Muslim couples. 

The groundbreaking change reflects a notable shift in the country’s stance on reproductive techniques, allowing a broader range of individuals and couples to access assisted conception and reproduction services within the UAE.

Key Amendments and Implications:

The recent legal amendments extend medically assisted reproduction techniques, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), to non-Muslim parties without a marriage certificate. 

Surrogacy is now permitted, and unmarried couples can access fertilization and implantation procedures. James Clarke, Of Counsel at BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP, notes that the law applies to both Emiratis and Muslim and non-Muslim expats, with non-Muslims having the flexibility to utilize services even if unmarried, subject to application and approval from the relevant regulator.

Regulation and Monitoring:

Clarke emphasizes that the relevant authorities regulate the services in each emirate. While the law does not specifically outline the criteria for choosing surrogates, the regulation of surrogacy is delegated to individual emirates. 

Unmarried non-Muslim couples seeking surrogacy must obtain approval from the relevant regulator, adhering to federal requirements and any additional conditions at the emirate level.

Legal Landscape for Surrogacy:

The amendment removes the prohibition on surrogacy in the previous law, signaling a significant departure from the prior stance. 

The new legal framework reflects a more inclusive approach, acknowledging the diverse needs of individuals and couples seeking assisted reproductive services.

Future Developments:

As the legal landscape evolves, attention will be on how individual emirates regulate and monitor surrogacy services. 

The absence of specific criteria for selecting surrogates leaves room for further developments and guidelines to be established.

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