Child Legitimation in Thailand

Child Legitimation is a common issue that arises when unmarried couples have children. According to section 1548 of the Civil and Commercial Code the father can register his legitimation when the child and mother expressly give their consent.

The process involves presenting relevant evidence and is often accompanied by a court petition. Once completed, children can inherit and use their father’s surname as well as have custody rights.

Unmarried Couples

For unmarried couples custody and parental authority will be determined by a legal agreement between the couple or a court decision if a divorce is carried out. This arrangement will also determine if child support will be paid. However, if there is no agreement or judgment on custody and parental authority a father would have to pursue the legitimation process in order to gain rights to his child.

This is a two step process whereby the mother must express consent to the application for registration of legitimation and the father must attend with the child before a registrar in person. Once the process is completed a father can gain full parental powers over his children and this will protect them in case of separation, divorce or death. It will also allow them to inherit, use the father’s surname and potentially obtain citizenship or nationality if required. The process is also vital for any future immigration applications including visas.


Aside from marriage issues, child legitimacy is also a concern for foreigners who want to have custody of their children in Thailand. This involves a complex process involving a variety of factors that need to be taken into consideration.

A father who wants custody of his children in Thailand must legitimize them through a process that involves the mother’s consent and a court judgment. He may also need to submit certain legal documents such as the mother’s identity and the birth certificate of the child.

After a series of high-profile international scandals drew attention to women exploitation, human trafficking and legal ambiguities in surrogacy arrangements in 2014, the Thai government decided to regulate this growing phenomenon of procreative tourism. The new law was intended to protect the legal rights of the children born through this arrangement and discourage surrogate motherhood. It also provides legal clarity and predictability to this area of the law.

Marriage Registration

In Thailand all children have a right to education, food, shelter and other basic necessities. However only the mother has parental authority and custody of the child. If the father wants any rights over the child he must petition for its legitimization with the amphur (district office).

This is a two step process that requires the mother and the child to express consent and appear before a registrar to register the legitimization. Legitimated children have rights including inheriting from both parents, using the father’s surname, obtaining citizenship or nationality in their father’s country and even traveling abroad with their father’s permission.

This is a complex issue that involves both legal and cultural considerations. It is important to consult with a lawyer before making any decisions regarding custody or other issues. A lawyer can help with a variety of issues, from adoptions to divorces and legitimation. They will consider the best interests of both the child and the father.

Biological Father

Even if a father’s name is on a child’s birth certificate, he cannot automatically claim parental rights in Thailand. Fathers must undergo a process known as “legitimation.” This may be done through marriage to the mother or court action.

Legitimation will grant the father equal rights and responsibilities to those of the mother. The process is relatively quick and simple if the mother agrees. However, if she does not, it can be a lengthy and complicated process.

For a father to obtain his right of legitimacy, he must file a petition with the court and formally notify the mother. She then has the right to object to this request. If she does not, and if the father proves that he is fit to exercise parental power over the child, the judge will order registration for legitimization. Once this is completed the child will be a legal citizen of Thailand. Fathers who wish to gain custody should contact a Thailand lawyer for assistance with this process.

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