Paternity rights refer to the rights of a biological father to exercise his parental rights such as having custody of the child and making legal decisions for the minor child. Thailand law imposes duties and various responsibilities on the fathers having legal paternity rights.
Also included among the responsibilities of the father is to financially support the child and take reasonable care of the child and be obligated of any consequence resulting from the legal decisions made in behalf of the child.
Issues regarding legal paternity arise when children are born outside of wedlock. Automatic paternity rights is established by being married to the biological mother under Thai law. Unlike those for biological mothers, whose legal parental authority is established upon child birth, is not applicable for biological fathers. If the biological father is not married to the biological mother, legal parental rights are not granted to him. The unmarried biological father must carry out a court action to obtain paternity rights. In some circumstances, marriage to the biological mother after child birth may also grant paternity rights to the biological father.
Laws for foreign fathers in Thailand apply the same way as it does with Thai fathers. For the biological father to have rights to a child, he must be married to the biological mother or file for a petition for legitimisation in court. Sometimes, foreign parents encounter additional legal issues aside from parental rights and paternity. An important issue regarding foreign fathers with Thai spouses would be establishing citizenship rights of the child in the foreign country, and is usually a combination with foreign law and Thai law: each country has its own legal requirements.
Establishing paternity outside of a marriage or filing a petition for legitimacy of a child requires specific court and registration process in Thailand. Each Embassy has its own process for establishing paternal rights for foreign fathers. Certain evidence are required to be submitted including DNA tests and Thailand court orders. Always speak to a Thai law firm for more advice.