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  • Author: Ken Wright
  • Published: 9th March, 2018

When a baby is born, it is clear who the mother is. Who the father is remains the question. If the mother is married the the law will assume that the husband is the father of the child. It doesn't matter who makes the registration.However, if the mother is not married, the law makes no such assumption and the father being named on the the birth certificate is not enough. After all,anyone can be named on the birth certificate as the father,without that person knowing let alone agreeing. In that case the father has to legitimize the child, with which he acknowledge before the law that he is the father of the child.The Thai law gives 3 possibilities to become the legal father of a child:1. When the mother and father marry after the birth of the child, the father becomes automatically the legal father of the child.2. The father asks to be registered as the legal father at the amphur. For this two criteria has to be met. The first one is that the mother has to agree. The second one is that the child also has to agree.However, the law doesn't give an age at which the child can give consent. Most amphurs will accept the consent of the child when it is at least 7 years old, but some amphurs seem willing to accept the consent of a child when a child is as young as 3 years old.Taking a respected local person with you might increase your chance on registration at an early age.There might be amphurs that will accept a registration of the father as the legal father when the father and mother appear at the amphur together to register the birth of the child and ask at the same time that the father be registered as the legal father. It is not according to the law.for the father petitions the court to become the legal father of the child. This is the only option that can be used when the child is too young or the mother or child don't consent to the legitimization. If the mother does consent, it is a relatively simply process, a longer one if the mother doesn't agree.Note that becoming the legal father is not the same as gaining parental rights, that is a different subject. You might become the legal father, without getting parental rights. Becoming the legal father means that you establish family ties with the child. That is for example important for a child's nationality and right to inheritance. With establishing parental rights you get authority over the child and can for example determine the place where a child stays.Always check with you embassy how you can legitimize a child under the laws of your own country. in some cases this can even be done before the child is born.Above applies to a father who wants to become the legal father of a child. It is also possible that a father doesn't want to become the legal father of a child, but the mother or the child do want the father to legitimize the child. In that case a paternity suit can be made against the father and the court will decide if the person is indeed the father of the child. This will establish family ties between the father and the child, which again relates to nationality and inheritance, but also gives the child right to child support.The child often has more rights regarding this than the mother. Often the mother has a limited period in which to file a paternity suit,while the child has a much longer time to file a paternity suit against the father.For more information about parental rights and legitimization of a child under Thai law read this article from ThaiLaw Online: http://thailawonline.com/en/family/children/custody-of-a-child-thailand.html

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Author: Ken Wright

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