Earlier this week, a Moroccan appeals court overturned a landmark ruling that had previously recognized a man as the father of a child born out of wedlock, Africa Report on Business reported

Soon after the appeals court issued the new ruling, the woman's defense lawyer Ahmed Guennoun spoke to media outlets. 

"The appeals court on Tuesday overturned the judgement and ordered the mother to pay legal costs," he said

“This is a great disappointment for the mother and her loved ones. We are going to appeal to the Court of Cassation (Morocco’s top court) and place our hopes in its judges," he added.

In January of this year, a lower Tangiers court ruled that the unidentified man was the father of the newborn. 

This came after DNA tests brought forth by the mother provided proof. 

The man was ordered to pay the mother $10,600, however, at the time, the child was not granted other family rights, including the right to inheritance.

This is because both Sharia law and Moroccan legal regulations consider children born out of wedlock as "illegitimate."

Soon after news of the appeal court's verdict started making headlines, Moroccan NGOs and activists expressed outrage at what they described as a step back. 

Insaf, an NGO that supports the rights of women and children in the country, said the Moroccan justice system wasn't taking into consideration the needs of the newborn. 

They also added that the ruling sends a message to people everywhere that men aren't expected to take responsibility for their actions.   

According to a report published by Insaf and the United Nations in 2011, it's estimated that "7 out of 10 fathers of children born outside of marriage are informed prior to the birth, but most refuse to recognize the child as theirs." 

The report also states that "nearly 30,000 single mothers give birth in the country each year, and are condemned to a life of 'exclusion, rejection, discrimination and even exploitation.'"