Fathers in Thailand do not acquire rights over their children by law unless they are legitimised. Without legitimation, a child’s mother receives full custody and control. Legitimated children are eligible to inherit from their parents, use the father’s surname and travel abroad.
To acquire legitimation, the father must submit an application to the local district office. If the mother and the child consent to the application, it will be registered.
Child legitimisation gives legal recognition to children born out of wedlock. It also gives them rights to inherit, use the father’s surname, obtain citizenship and travel with their father. It may also affect visa options and family relationships.
Obtain an affirmation of freedom to marry from your Embassy in Thailand (employees at embassies are not authorised to perform marriages or carry out translation services). The form needs a Thai translation by an approved translation office.
Affirmation of Marriage must be presented along with a certified copy of the passport of both parties and two witnesses at the district office. The father must have consent from the child and mother to register the child’s legitimacy. If he doesn’t have the consent, his application will be rejected. Similarly, if the mother or child doesn’t appear to give their consent, it will be assumed that they don’t agree with the application. The consent must be given within sixty days.
In Thailand, child custody is often a matter of concern for people who do not live together. The father may want to be involved in the decision-making process, especially if the mother and father are separated. However, this can be difficult and a court will make a ruling on the matter according to what they think is in the best interests of the child.
Once the father has been legally legitimised he will be entitled to full parental power and custody rights. This is provided that he does not have a history of bad behaviour towards the child or her mother.
Parents are bound to maintain their children (Section 1553). This means they must provide food and clothing for them. They also must educate them and teach them the principles of religion and morality. This is a requirement even when they are adults and sui juris. This is why it is important to consider getting legal advice on this issue at an early stage.
Child Custody Agreement
In Thailand, custody is referred to as “parental power” and can be exercised by the mother, father or guardian. It includes the right to determine residence, demand that a child be returned to them, and manage the children’s property with certain restrictions. Custody also includes the right to decide the child’s education and religion. In addition, a parent with parental power can take their child out of the country without the permission of the other parent and may inherit the child’s property after death.
If a father of a child born out of wedlock wishes to acquire rights over the child, he must petition the court for legitimization of the child under Section 1548 of the Thai Commercial and Civil Code. If the child or mother object to the application or do not express their consent, the father must wait 60 days (180 days if they are living outside of Thailand) before applying for registration of legitimation.
In Thailand, fathers who are not married to the mother have no legal rights at all until their paternity has been formally recognized by a court of law. Usually, this means that they must have their name on the child’s birth certificate (called “legitimation”) or have their name registered at the local registrar, called the amphur in Thai language.
In Western countries, fathers and mothers are given equal rights and obligations when it comes to their children. However, in Thailand, this is not the case. According to Section 1546 of the Civil and Commercial Code, when a child is born, the father does not have legal parental rights unless he has been recognized as the father by a court order.
This is because a finding of legal paternity differs from biological fatherhood. Therefore, cases can be filed by a father seeking his rights or by the mother asking for child support from the father. These cases typically require the Family Court to assign social workers to conduct a detailed investigation into the matter.