Although Thailand has been a long-standing signatory to the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,no domestic law in Thailand existed until 2012 to afford for the direct enforcement of rights pursuant to the Convention. Cases of international child abduction in Thailand were still resolved by the Thailand judiciary. However, such cases were considered under other applicable laws such as the Thailand Family Code.
In 2012, with the enactment of the Thailand Abduction Act, aggrieved parents and relevant government officials now have a more direct method to resolve international child abduction cases in Thailand.
A common misunderstanding is that a father’s name on a birth certificate is sufficient to establish paternal rights in Thailand, but this is incorrect. In Thailand, although a man may be the biological father of the child in question and established a relationship with his child, but without having met the necessary legal requirements, may lack the legal rights to his child.
Foreign parents in Thailand will usually seek to establish the citizenship of their Thai born children through their embassy in Thailand. Although establishing paternity (or maternity) is normally a fundamental issue with regard to citizenship, establishing paternity under Thai law is not necessarily needed to gain legal paternity under foreign law.