Children who are born to parents who are not legally married to each other are considered as illegitimate. Even if the biological father admits to the paternity of the child, his mere acknowledgement will not result to improving the status of the child to being a legitimate.

An illegitimate child may, however, become a legitimate through different remedies as afforded in the Thai Civil and Commercial Code.

The first and simplest is by the subsequent marriage of his biological parents. The child is considered legitimate from the day of marriage of his biological parents.

The second remedy is by registration made on application by the biological father. The application is submitted at the Local District office where the child’s birth is registered. The mother and the child must both express their consent to the legitimation. If this is the method employed by the parents, the child is considered legitimate from the date of registration of the child’s legitimation.

If the mother or the child files an opposition to the application of legitimation of the father at the local district office, legitimation can only be effected by court procedure. The court will hear the testimony and review the evidence from the concerned parties and decide whether or not there is merit in the petition for legitimation. If the court finds for legitimation, it shall order the Registrar to effect the registration.

This article was provided by Siam Legal, an international law firm with offices in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, and Samui. Siam Legal publishes guides to child legitimation in Thailand on its website.

Siam Legal International
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