Child Legitimation in Thailand

Child Legitimation in Thailand. In Thailand, children born outside of wedlock face a unique legal situation. By default, the mother holds sole parental rights. However, the biological father has options to establish legal recognition and rights through child legitimation. This article explores the process of child legitimation in Thailand, providing clarity for fathers seeking to build a secure future with their children.

Child Legitimation in Thailand: Understanding the Legal Process

In Thailand, child legitimation is a legal process that grants legal status to a child born out of wedlock, ensuring that they have the same rights and privileges as children born to married parents. Legitimation provides the child with the right to inherit property, use the father’s surname, and access other benefits that come with legal recognition. In this article, we will explore the process of child legitimation in Thailand, its significance, and the steps involved.

Importance of Child Legitimation

Child legitimation holds significant importance in Thai society as it ensures that children born out of wedlock are not disadvantaged due to their parents’ marital status. It provides legal recognition to the child’s relationship with their father and ensures that they are entitled to the same rights and privileges as children born within marriage.

Legal Framework

In Thailand, child legitimation is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code. According to Thai law, a child born out of wedlock can be legitimized by the subsequent marriage of their parents or through a court order. Legitimation through marriage is the most common method and occurs automatically when the parents marry after the child’s birth. However, if the parents do not marry, the father can petition the court for legitimation.

Legitimizing a child grants the father legal standing, allowing him to:

  • Share parental responsibilities: This includes decision-making regarding the child’s education, healthcare, and upbringing.
  • Inherit from the child: Without legitimation, the father has no inheritance rights.
  • Pass on his surname: The child can legally bear the father’s surname.
  • Establish a stronger bond: Legitimization fosters a sense of security and belonging for the child.

The Three Paths to Legitimation

Thai law offers three ways to achieve child legitimation:

  1. Marriage: The simplest route is for the biological parents to marry. Upon marriage registration, the father can declare the child as legitimate, officially recognizing his parental rights.

  2. Registration: If marriage isn’t an option, the father can apply for legitimation registration at the local district office. This requires the consent of both the mother and the child (if they are of legal age). In their absence, a court judgment can be obtained as proof of paternity.

  3. Court Judgment: In cases of disagreement or if the mother and child are unavailable, a court can rule on legitimation based on evidence proving the father-child relationship. DNA testing often plays a crucial role in such cases.

Benefits of Child Legitimation

Child legitimation in Thailand confers several benefits upon the child, including:

  • Inheritance rights: Legitimate children are entitled to inherit property from their parents under Thai law.
  • Right to the father’s surname: Legitimated children have the right to use their father’s surname, providing them with a sense of identity and belonging.
  • Access to benefits: Legitimate children may be eligible for various benefits and entitlements provided by the government or private institutions.


Child legitimation is a crucial legal process in Thailand that ensures children born out of wedlock receive equal rights and recognition under the law. By providing legal status to the child’s relationship with their father, legitimation promotes social inclusion and protects the child’s interests. Understanding the process of child legitimation and its significance is essential for parents seeking to legitimize their child’s status and ensure their rights and privileges are upheld.

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