Father of the Child – Legitimization in Thailand
What happens when you find out that you might be the father of a child?
This scenario happens very often for visitors who come to Thailand. A visitor comes to Thailand on vacation for some fun and adventure. During his holiday, the visitor meets a local Thai girl. They spend a week having fun and enjoying each other’s company. The visitor leaves Thailand and the Thai girl with promises of keeping in touch with her. About 10 months later, the visitor finds out that the Thai girl gave birth to a child and he might be the father.
How does a father legitimize his child?
In Thailand, being the biological father of a child does not confer any parental rights even if the father is named on the birth certificate. The father can only be deemed the legitimate parent of the child in three ways. The first way is if the father and the mother are legally married at the time of the child’s birth or became legally married, the husband is deemed the legitimate parent. The second and third way for a father to legitimize their parental rights is through registration with the local Amphur with the mother’s consent or through a court judgment.
If the visitor believes that he may be the biological father and wants parental rights but does not want to get married, he has two options. He can contact the Thai mother and ask if the mother will consent to the legitimization. If the mother agrees that that visitor is the father, the father can submit a legitimization with local Amphur where the child was born. The registrar will notify the mother of the child of the father’s application. The mother will have 60 days to consent to the application. After 60 days, the mother will be presumed to not have consented.
If the mother has not consented to the legitimization, the potential father will have to file a petition for legitimation with the local family court. The mother of the child will have to be served with notice of the petition. After the mother has been served, the court will have a hearing on the evidence. The court can only grant legitimization of the patterning for one of the seven following reasons (Section 1555 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code):
- Where there is a rape, abduction or illegal confinement of the mother during the period when conception could have taken place;
- Where there has been elopement or seduction of the mother during the period where conception could have been taken place;
- Where there is a document emanation from the father and acknowledging the child as his own;
- Where it appears in the birth register that the child is a son or daughter of the man who notified of the birth, or such notification was made with the knowledge of the man;
- Where there has been open cohabitation of the father and the mother during the period where conception could have been taken place;
- Where the father had sexual intercourse with the mother during the period when conception could have been taken, and there are grounds to believe that he or she is not the child of another man;
- Where the father continuous provided for the child such as the child’s education or maintenance or has allowed the child to use the father’s family name.
If the man is found to be the legitimate father of the child, the father is bound by law to provide for the child’s necessities and educational expenses. As a parent, the father will have the right to make decisions for the best interests of the child including religion, education, residence, discipline, and employment. The court will also provide custody and child support orders as part of the judgment.
Category: Family Law
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Siam Legal is an international law firm with experienced lawyers, attorneys, and solicitors both in Thailand law and international law. This Thailand law firm offers comprehensive legal services in Thailand to both local and foreign clients for Litigation such as civil & criminal cases, labor disputes, commercial cases, divorce, adoption, extradition, fraud, and drug cases. Other legal expertise of the law firm varied in cases involving corporate law such as company registration & Thailand BOI, family law, property law, and private investigation.