Tag: Child Legitimation

Child Legitimation in Thailand

Child Legitimation commonly arises when unmarried couples have children born out of wedlock. It is a legal procedure through which fathers can legally recognize their children as their own and gain parental rights.

Once the process is completed, the father can take on custodial rights, provide financial security and even claim inheritance rights. The child will also be allowed to bear the father’s surname, a matter of great significance in Thai culture.

Biological Relationship

Although Thai law states that a child is exclusively the mother’s child, biological fathers can establish paternal ties through a legal process known as legitimation. This guide explores the intricacies of this process, examining its legal framework and procedures as well as its implications for both parents and children.

There are three primary ways to legitimize a child in Thailand: through marriage, court action, or government registration. Upon legitimation, a child can acquire a number of important rights. These include the right to bear the father’s surname and access benefits such as social security and healthcare. In addition, legitimate children have equal parental rights and responsibilities with their mothers and can inherit from them. A biological relationship can also be confirmed by a DNA test, allowing the father to claim financial support for his children. Ultimately, the decision to legitimize a child lies with the mother, and her consent must be obtained before pursuing this option.

Legal Capacity

In Thailand, children have the same legal rights as those born within a marriage. This means that despite appearing on a child’s birth certificate, fathers with no legally established relationship to the child are not entitled to parental powers over them until they have gone through the legitimation process.

Fathers seeking to obtain such rights can seek to register their legitimation at a local district office, providing that they receive the consent of both the mother and child. The authorities will verify the identity of both parents and confirm that the child is biologically their offspring.

Legitimation also enables the child to inherit property and assets from the father, as well as use the father’s surname. It can also be used as grounds for a visa application, or in cases of custody disputes. Regardless of the method of legitimation, seeking family legal representation is advisable as it helps to guide parents through the process and ensures that the best interests of the child are taken into consideration.


Until a child is legally recognised as legitimate, they are considered illegitimate under Thai law. Legitimation bestows significant rights, including inheritance and custody, upon children born to unmarried parents. Whether through marriage, voluntary acknowledgment, or registration by the father at the local district office (Amphur), the process of child legitimation is an important one.

After the process of legitimation, fathers in Thailand have equal rights and responsibilities as mothers, including parental power and custody, unless otherwise deprived by court judgment. They can also visit or take their children out of the country with their consent, and are obligated to provide them with food, shelter, education and health care. If the mother or child objects to the process, or if they are deceased, an action for legitimacy can be brought by the closest relative. This is a complex matter which requires legal advice and guidance from our experienced English and Thai speaking lawyers.


Although Thai law states that a child is the sole legal offspring of the mother, fathers who wish to establish parental ties have several options. These include subsequent marriage, court action, and government registration of paternity. Legitimation provides social acceptance and reduces the societal stigma associated with illegitimacy while also providing financial security for children through their father’s legal obligation to provide support.

In order to legitimize his or her children, a father must apply for their registration at a local district office. The application requires both the mother and child to express their consent and appear before a registrar in person. If the mother and child do not appear within sixty days (or one hundred and eighty if they are outside of Thailand) after being notified of the application, it is presumed that they do not give their consent to the father’s request.

Once legitimized, a father can claim equal parental rights and custody. He can also use his surname and acquire citizenship for his children.