A baby by any other name

What Thai laws are there about a child’s surname? Can a child take a combination of the mother’s and the father’s surnames? Can a child have a stranger’s surname, a surname completely different from father and mother’s surnames?

  • Asked on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 | 06:18 PM
    Elisa Lazier, Italy.

A child born out of wedlock automatically becomes under the custody of the mother and must use the mother’s surname, unless the father alone registered the child’s birth, which means that the child must use the father’s surname.

If both parents registered the birth then the child can use either surname.

Parents can choose a new surname for the child but the new surname must be not the same as anyone else’s family name and must be in Thai.

Although you have the right to use any surname for your child, I suggest that the child has the same surname as the parents because that name is unique to that family.

  • Answered on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 | 06:18 PM
    Suksan Siang-ake, Kathu District Chief Registrar.
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