Parental Rights in Thailand

Parental Rights in Thailand

Parental Rights in Thailand

How to Obtain Parental Rights in Thailand

What many biological fathers with children in Thailand do not understand or may not be aware of is that even where you might appear on the child’s birth certificate, that does not automatically mean you have parental rights with the child.

If you were not married to the child’s mother at the time of the childs birth or have not after the child’s birth registered a marriage with the mother, then sadly unlike in the west you have no parental rights under Thai Law. This could mean that you have no decision making or lawful powers over the child which could lead to a multitude of legal problems down the line.

But there are ways to have your rights legally recognised to safeguard the rights of you and the child in the future.

Our dedicated English speaking Thai Family Lawyers here at Isaan Lawyers have vast experience in such matters and have been representing the Interests of our clients since 2006.

There are three ways to obtain parental rights in Thailand:

  1. Marriage: If a child is born to a married couple, both parents automatically have parental rights. After the Childs birth you can as the biological father register a marriage with the childs mother 
  2. Legitimation: An unmarried father can legitimise his child by registering the child as his legitimate child with the local authorities. To do this, the father must:
    • Be the biological father of the child.
    • Obtain the consent of the mother of the child.
    • Obtain the consent of the child, if the child is old enough to understand.
  3. Legitimation by Court order: If a father is unable to legitimise his child, he can file a petition with the court to be granted parental rights. The court will consider a number of factors when making its decision, including what is in the best interests of the child and the relationship between the father and the child.

Steps to legitimate a child in Thailand at the Amphur.

To legitimise a child in Thailand at the Amphur, the father must follow these steps:

  1. Obtain the consent of the mother of the child.
  2. Obtain the consent of the child, if the child is old enough to understand also known in the west as Gillik competent. Usually the child will need to be above seven years of age or above to complete by this method.
  3. Go to the local district office Amphur.
  4. Complete the necessary paperwork, produce required evidence such as including the child’s birth certificate and the father’s identity documents.
  5. Pay any applicable fee.

Once the paperwork is complete and the fees are paid, the district office will issue a certificate of legitimation. This certificate will state that the father is the legal father of the child.

It is important to note that the process of legitimizing a child can be complex and time-consuming. It is advisable to consult with a qualified Thai lawyer to get assistance with this process.

Parental Rights in Thailand by Court Order for Child Legitimation

Where the child is under seven years old or where the assistance of the mother has not been obtained or where it cannot be obtained then the biological father of the child will need to apply to the Thai Courts in order for child legitimation to be considered and a court order to that effect issued.

The application will include appointments with Officials, what we would know in the west as Social Workers from the Family and Juvenile Observations department where the father and where applicable the mother and child will be interviewed in order for a report to be provided to the court. A DNA test from an approved supplier is usually also required during the process.

As with all applications in Thailand the court process may involve 3 to 5 hearings, thus it is vital to obtain the correct legal advice, guidance, preparation and support during this important process to ensure that one of the most important aspects of your life and that of the child or children involved goes smoothly.

Read more about Child Legitimation in Thailand here

Contact Us

Contact our experienced English and Thai speaking Lawyers for advice and assistance.

In Pattaya you can also contact

For information on the Hague Convention of which Thailand is a signatory see here. Where your child has or may have been taken or abducted from Thailand Isaan Lawyers can assist.