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Legitimization of children in Thailand

The need to legitimize a child in Thailand usually arises when unmarried couples have children born out of wedlock. Questions arising from such relationships are how the father of a child born out of wedlock can legitimize his child and whether the biological father has any rights to custody of his child.

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Legitimation of Children in Thailand.

The legitimization of a child is governed by Thailand's Civil and Commercial Code (CCC), which acknowledges that a child born to an unmarried woman is deemed legitimate and the mother has exclusive parental rights. Nonetheless, the biological father retains the option to legitimize his child through any of the following procedures:

  1. Consecutive marriage of the biological father and the child's mother;
  2. By registration upon application of the biological father;
  3. A court order.

How to legitimize a child in Thailand?

These options are available for legitimizing children in Thailand. If you are unsure which option is best for you and your family, consult us before signing up or going in any legal direction.

Marriage between biological father and mother

The first option to legitimize a child in Thailand is to register the marriage between the father and the mother of the child. Once the marriage is registered, the father must inform the registrar of the legitimate child and the marriage registration application. The registrar at the district office will issue a marriage certificate stating that the father has legitimized the child through the marriage between the parents.

Administrative Registration

According to Thai CCC Section 1547, if the father applies to legitimize the child in Thailand to the local district office, the mother and child must consent to the application. However, if the mother and child do not give such consent within 60 days after said the filing or the mother or child objects that the applicant is not the child's father, the father must file a petition for legitimation—The child to the appropriate court.

Court Decision

By Section 1555 of the Thai CCC, for the court to legitimize the child, the father must prove one of the following grounds:

    1. The child's mother was raped, abducted, or illegally confined by the child's father during the period in which conception could have occurred;
    2. The child's mother was abandoned or seduced by the child's father during the period in which conception could have occurred;
    3. Document from the father showing that he recognized the child as his own;
    4. The father has notified the birth of the child to the birth registrar, and his name as the child's father appears on the child's birth certificate, or such notification was made with the father's knowledge;
    5. The evidence proves that the child's father and mother were openly living together at the time that conception could have occurred;
    6. If the father had sexual contact with the mother at the time that conception could have occurred, and there is reason to believe that they are not the child of another man;
    7. There is evidence of a father-child relationship, such as the fact that the father provided education or support for the child or allowed the child to use his last name.

Other evidence

In addition, other evidence to support legitimizing the child in Thailand may include DNA results, photographs of the father and mother showing that they were together when she was pregnant, testimony showing that the father publicly reported that the woman was pregnant with his child, and evidence that he paid hospital bills or other expenses for mother and child. After a legitimation order is made, the father may register the child's legitimation with the local county office in the child's residence. In addition, if the petition for the legitimation of the child includes a custody issue, the court will decide if the father is suitable to exercise custody of the child in the same case.

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Update: 18-02-2023
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