Article source : Opinion: Fatherless Children Are Not Illegitimate


Being a fatherless child in Morocco is nearly a lifelong condemnation. Article 446 of the Moroccan Jurisprudence describes “any person born outside marriage [as] a bastard; whether he is recognized by his biological father or not.”

Why should innocent children suffer the consequences of an act that they did not commit? How can a justice system deprive children from their fathers only because they were conceived outside marriage?

Regarding the filiation, according to the Moroccan family code a single mother should single-handedly assume the parental obligations, while the biological father is exempted from looking after his own child. Article 146 states that “Filiation to the mother produces the same effects regardless of whether the children are the result of a legitimate or illegitimate relationship.”

Furthermore, Article 148 assures that “Illegitimate filiation to the father does not produce any of the effects of legitimate filiation.” The mentioned effects of legitimate filiation, as defined by Article 54, are basic needs such as health care, education, protection and “respect of their identity and its preservation.”

Not only are these laws discriminatory towards single mothers and their innocent children, but they are also against Islamic values. Such laws that dismiss biological fathers from their duties toward their own children should be banned.

In the Quran, fatherless children should be first assigned to their biological fathers if they are identified, otherwise society should treat them fairlyas normal children, with no stigmatization or segregation.


No legal action has been taken against this silent human tragedy yet. Moroccan single mothers continue to suffer from legal discrimination and ostracization. They also face legal punishment for having extramarital sexual relationships. They often abandon their babies as a way of avoiding persecution.