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Egyptian 'Single Mother' stirs controversy

Monday 16-01-2017 - 05:16 AM
Mai Magid
Egyptian 'Single
Cairo – 'Adam’s paternity denial case', or as it is known in Egypt as 'Hadir Mekway’s case', attracted the attention of public opinion within the last few days. A woman in her mid-twenties declared on January 1, that she was expecting to give birth in days, but the alleged father refuses to acknowledge their undocumented marriage nor their child. The story went viral on social media platforms and divided Egyptian public opinion between supporters and opponents.

A few parliament members discussed the need to issue a special law that incriminates paternity denial, and to penalize fathers who do not take responsibility for their children.

Kamal Ahmed, member of the constitutional and legislative committee at the Egyptian Representatives House denounced the media focus on this case and dealing with it as a public opinion case, adding that there are other more pressing issues in Egypt, such as the surge in price of basic goods, shortage of medicine, and a high rate of unemployment.

Extramarital sexual relations are both socially and religiously forbidden in Egypt. The most vulnerable parties in such relationships are the woman and child, if a woman gives birth but her marriage is officially unregistered.

Egyptian 'Single

Only in the case of the father owning up to paternity that this child will be given his name. However, with the advent of DNA testing, many Islamic scholars are urging its use to establish paternity in such cases.

In the eyes of the personal status law, the marriage contract is authenticated. It is drawn up in the presence of a marriage official (legal Ma’zoun), who is the officially authorized to conduct the marriage ceremony. The contract is then registered in the State records. 

In 2015, an Egyptian actress won a legal battle against her alleged husband, another actor, which upheld her claim that he was the father of her two children, when she gave birth while in an unregistered marriage.

Social media users were up in arms against 'Hadeer,' but some defended her right to keep the child and confront the society and go into a legal procedures to sue the father of 'Adam'.

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