Child Legitimation in Thailand

Child Legitimation is an important legal process in Thailand that grants children born out of wedlock the same rights and privileges as those of their married counterparts. This includes the right to use their father’s surname and access social security and welfare benefits.

The father must file an application at the local district office with consent from the mother and the child. He must also provide proof of his relationship with the child such as photos, witness statements or DNA test results.

Legal Parentage

Until a child is legally recognised as the father’s under Thai law (through marriage, government registration, or court action) they are illegitimate. Legitimation bestows important rights and responsibilities upon children including inheritance and custody.

The process of legitimation consists of several steps. It involves meeting with officials, what we would call Social Workers in the West and also a visit with the mother and child (if they are able). A DNA test will be required in most cases. Once the father has been granted legitimacy he can apply for custody of his child at the local authority or at the Courts.

Custody issues can also be addressed as part of the legitimation case if the father and mother are unable to reach agreement on their own. This is a great way to get things resolved and avoid a long drawn out battle. A good Thai lawyer can help the father make this process as smooth as possible.

Social Acceptance

Legitimation offers a path to reduce the stigma of illegitimate children, and it bestows significant rights such as inheritance and custody. However, it can be a lengthy process with several steps, and it’s important to seek legal guidance to navigate the available methods.

A father can apply for the registration of a child as his legitimate under Section 1547 of the Civil and Commercial Code by filing an application at a local district office. He must notify the mother and child and obtain their consent to his request. If they have no objection or do not appear within sixty days (or one hundred and eighty if they are outside of Thailand) after the notification, it is presumed that they consent to his request.

Legitimation allows a father to claim equal parental rights and custody of his children, as well as use his surname and acquire citizenship. It also obligates the parents to provide emotional and financial support for their children.

Financial Security

While Thai law recognizes a child to be exclusively the mother’s offspring, fathers can establish paternal ties by undergoing a non-contentious legal process known as legitimation. This allows fathers to take on custodial rights, provide financial security and claim inheritance rights. Furthermore, children who become legitimate will be able to use the father’s surname, which is of significant importance in Thai culture.

To begin the process, a father must submit an application at a district office along with verification of his identity. He must then obtain the consent of both the mother and the child for his application to be registered. If the mother or the child object to the application, they can challenge it in court. Once the application is approved, a legitimacy certificate will be issued by the district office. Upon receiving this certificate, the father will have legal standing to take action against any party that wronged him or his family. He will also have access to various benefits such as social security and healthcare.

Cultural Importance

As well as removing the societal stigma associated with illegitimate children, child legitimation provides several other benefits. For example, the child will receive a legal right to bear the father’s surname and access to government benefits. Additionally, the father will become legally responsible for child support and school expenses. Furthermore, a child who is legitimated will be considered a part of the family and will have inheritance rights.

Moreover, in addition to the above benefits, the legitimation process often serves as a tool for fostering desirable traits in Thai children such as self-discipline, diligence, altruism, honesty and respect. These qualities are largely rooted in cultural values such as those of Buddhism and royalist paternalism.

The governmental programme of child legitimation, as exemplified in this case, is an old ideological recipe for entrenching filial nationalism woven with state paternalism and monarchy chauvinism. This is a major reason why many scholars have criticised this particular pedagogy. (Bolotta, 2021b).

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram