Legitimation of Children
Legitimation of a child in Thailand commonly arises when unmarried couples have children born out of the marriage. The issues resulting from such relationship are how the father of the child born out of the wedlock can legitimize his child and whether the biological father has any custodial rights over his child.
The legitimation of a child falls under the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand (CCC), and this law recognizes that a child born of a woman who is not married to a man shall be deemed to be the legitimate child of such woman, and therefore the mother alone who has the parental rights over the child. However, the biological father of the child is not barred from legitimating of his child, and such legitimation can be fulfilled by any of the following procedures:
- The subsequent marriage of the biological father and mother of the child;
- By registration made on application by the biological father; or
- By judgment of the court.
How to process the legitimation of a child in Thailand?
These are the options available for the legitimation of children in Thailand. If you are not certain which is the best option for you and your family, consult us first before you sign or proceed into any legal direction.
- Marriage between the biological father and the mother
First option for legitimation of a child in Thailand is through the marriage registration between the father and the mother of the child. Upon the marriage registration, the father is required to inform the registrar of a legitimate child along with the marriage registration application. The registrar at the district office will issue a marriage certificate stating that a child is legitimized by the father through the marriage between the parents.
- Administrative Registration
According to Section 1547 of Thai CCC, if the father submits an application for legitimation of a child in Thailand with a local district office, the mother and the child must express their consent to the application. However, if such consent is not given by the mother and the child within 60 days after the said filing, or the mother or child raises an objection that the applicant is not the father of the child, the father has to file the petition of legitimation of the child to the applicable court.
- Judgment of the Court
Under Section 1555 of Thai CCC, in order for the court to grant legitimation of a child, the father is required to prove one of the following grounds:
- The mother of the child was raped, abducted or illegally confined by the father of the child during the period when conception could have taken place;
- The mother of the child was eloped or seduced by the father of the child during the period where conception could have taken place;
- A document emanating from the father shows that he acknowledged the child as his own;
- The father notified the birth of the child to the birth registrar, and his name as the father of the child appears on the birth certificate of the child, or such notification was made with the knowledge of the father;
- Evidence proves that the father and the mother of the child openly cohabited during the period when conception could have taken place;
- Where the father had sexual intercourse with the mother during the period when conception could have taken place, and there are grounds to believe that he or she is not the child of another man;
- There are facts showing the relationship between the father and the child such as the fact that the father has provided the child’s education or maintenance, or that he has allowed the child to use his family name.
In addition, other evidence to support the application of legitimation of a child in Thailand could be the DNA test results, photographs of the father and mother showing that they were together while she was pregnant, witness statements confirming that the father has made it known publicly that the woman is pregnant with his child, and evidence proving that he has paid hospital bills or other expenses for the mother and the child.
Once the judgment of the legitimation of a child is pronounced, the father can register the legitimation of the child at the local district office where the child has domicile. Additionally, if the petition for the legitimation of a child includes the custody issue, the court will decide whether the father is suitable to exercise the custody rights over the child in the same case.
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