Children born of Saudi father and foreign wife
When a Saudi man marries a foreign (ie, non-Saudi) wife, any children born from the marriage are viewed as Saudi citizens. This is even in spite if a child has dual-citizenship. If in Saudi, the Saudi citizenship prevails and the other citizenship is not taken into consideration. While there are some benefits of dual nationality if in the case the marriage breaks up, the father automatically is given total custody of the children. In fact, if the mother has not taken Saudi citizenship and in the event of a divorce, she may have no choice but to leave the Kingdom and without her children. It will be up to the good auspices of the father whether he would allow her to return to the Kingdom to visit them or allow the children to go visit their mother outside of the Kingdom. In most cases this situation typically results in a tragic series of events with mothers rarely if ever getting to see their children.If a foreign woman is going to marry a Saudi this is one of the many aspects in which her eyes should be wide open. Saudi Arabia is not a place for everyone and hopefully one can determine whether or not a marriage will succeed before adding the complexity of children in the equation.In the case of the United States, while officials at the US embassy and consulates are emphathatic when they learn of cases where marriages have failed and now a mother is separated from her children, there is little they can do. US officials must also respect and abide by the Saudi law. In fact this aspect of law and ruling in Saudi Arabia is clearly spelled out on the US Embassy Riyadh web site and in the document which gets periodically updated and circulated by State Department about American women who choose to marry Saudis.So then the question may be, what is a woman to do who has married a Saudi, had children and for whatever reason the marriage has now failed? First one hopes that a decent relationship can be maintained in that the mother can have access to her children. When that is not the case she can make her case and circumstances known to organizations specializing in such incidents as well as to official organizations (respective embassy, Congressman) and the press. But at the same time, the mother must be very careful so as not to further isolate herself from her child or cause further detriment to the situation. I know…you are likely asking why must a mother exhibit such caution in her fight to have access to her own child? Whether one likes it or not, these are the facts and law of the land in the Kingdom. And especially so when the child is a female as women must always have the permission of their mahrem (male guardian) up to the day they die (if of Saudi citizenship). In the case of Americans (and likely other nationalities) the embassy wants to know of such cases for their statistics and in the reports which are compiled. But again, one should not get their hopes raised in any event on expecting their embassy to intervene in the case of a Saudi citizen and Saudi laws.This is an extremely sensitive subject and when writing about this very topic in the Kingdom, one has to be careful and stick to the facts.If you are not a member of myspace and wish to comment to this post (or any other post) you may email me directly. Please put the subject of the posting in the subject of the email. You may email me at: american_bedu(at)yahoo(dot)com.