In Thailand, paternity rights are established either by marriage to the mother, through court action or government registration. In this regard, a man may be the biological father and have established a relationship with his child, but without having met the necessary legal requirements, may lack the legal rights to his child.
Paternity Law in Thailand
The rights and responsibilities of the father are stated in BOOK V: Family, Title II: Parent and Child of the Civil and Commercial Code of Thailand. A child born to parents that are married is considered the legitimate child of the husband. A child born out of wedlock is, in general, considered the legitimate child of the mother. Accordingly, a biological mother’s legal rights are automatic but the father’s rights are not. A common misconception is that a father’s name on a birth certificate establishes paternal rights, but this claim is incorrect. Child support can be claimed between husband and wife, or parent and child, to be determined by a court.
Rights of a Foreign Father in Thailand
The law for foreign fathers is basically the same as it applies to paternity rights of a Thai father. In order to have rights to one’s child, the father must either be married to the mother or file for paternity rights pursuant to the legal process. One important issue with regard to foreign parents with Thai spouses is establishing citizenship rights of the child in the foreign spouse’s home country. Establishing citizenship is usually a combination of the foreign law and Thai law: each nation will have its own legal requirements.
Proving Paternity in Thailand
Establishing paternity outside of marriage involves a specific court and registration process in Thailand. For establishing rights of the foreign father, each Embassy will have its own procedures. Evidence required includes the submission of specific legal documents; DNA tests and Thailand court orders are also frequently required.