Child Legitimation in Thailand

Child legitimation is a legal process that establishes the status of a child born to unmarried parents, granting the child legal recognition and inheritance rights. In Thailand, child legitimation has specific legal procedures and requirements to ensure the child’s rights and status are protected. This comprehensive guide will explore the concept of child legitimation in Thailand, the legal framework, and the steps involved.

What is Child Legitimation?

Child legitimation is the legal process through which a child born to unmarried parents gains the same rights and privileges as a child born to married parents. This includes inheritance rights, the right to use the father’s surname, and other legal benefits.

Legal Framework

Child legitimation in Thailand is governed by the Civil and Commercial Code, Sections 1536 to 1543. These provisions outline the legal procedures and requirements for child legitimation.

Requirements for Child Legitimation in Thailand

To initiate the process of child legitimation in Thailand, certain conditions must be met:

  1. Biological Relationship: The child must be biologically related to the father, and paternity must be established.
  2. Consent of Mother: Both parents must consent to the legitimation. If the mother refuses consent, the father can initiate a legal process to establish paternity.
  3. Age of Majority: The child must be below the age of majority, which is 20 years old in Thailand.

Steps for Child Legitimation in Thailand

  1. Paternity Acknowledgment:
    • To legitimize a child, the father must formally acknowledge paternity either at the time of the child’s birth registration or by submitting a written acknowledgment at the district office where the child’s birth is registered.
  2. Parental Consent:
    • Both parents must provide written consent for the child’s legitimation. This can be done through a joint application to the local district office.
  3. Legal Documentation:
    • The district office will process the legitimation request and issue a certificate of legitimation. This certificate officially recognizes the child as legitimate.
  4. Registration of New Birth Certificate:
    • Upon receiving the certificate of legitimation, the child’s birth certificate will be updated to include the father’s name. The child may also take the father’s surname if both parents agree.

Rights and Implications of Child Legitimation

Child legitimation in Thailand has several important implications for the child and the parents:

  1. Inheritance Rights: A legitimized child gains legal inheritance rights, allowing them to inherit from both parents.
  2. Nationality: The child’s nationality may be determined based on the nationality of the legitimized father.
  3. Right to Use Father’s Surname: A legitimized child may use the father’s surname with the parents’ consent.
  4. Financial Support: The father becomes legally responsible for providing financial support for the child.
  5. Rights to Benefits: The child may be entitled to various legal benefits and entitlements available to legitimate children.
  6. Social and Emotional Benefits: Child legitimation often carries social and emotional benefits, such as a sense of belonging and recognition.

Legal Recognition of Paternity

In cases where the mother disputes the paternity acknowledgment or refuses consent, the father can seek legal recognition of paternity through the courts. The court will consider evidence, including DNA tests, to determine paternity. If paternity is established, the court can issue an order of legitimation.

International Implications

Child legitimation in Thailand may have international implications, especially if one of the parents is a foreign national. It is important to consult with legal experts who specialize in family law to understand the potential impact of legitimation on issues such as nationality and custody.


Child legitimation in Thailand is a legal process that provides important rights and recognition to children born to unmarried parents. It ensures that such children enjoy the same legal benefits and privileges as those born to married parents, including inheritance rights and the right to use the father’s surname. While the process may appear straightforward, it is essential to navigate it correctly, considering the specific circumstances and potential international implications.

If you are considering child legitimation or have questions about the process, it is highly advisable to seek legal advice from experienced family lawyers who can guide you through the legal requirements and implications of child legitimation in Thailand. Legitimation not only provides legal protection for the child but also contributes to their social and emotional well-being by officially recognizing their relationship with both parents.

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