Man discovers he is not the father of 14-year-old son

The father (grey shirt) and his son, who will be legally adopted, at the Pavena foundation.(Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

A proud father has suddenly discovered his 14-year-old son is not his own child, but instead a boy his wife got from a friend who was unable to raise the child.

The man and his son went to the Pavena Foundation for Children and Women to seek help tracking down the boy’s biological parents. Now that the long-hidden truth was out, the father wants to adopt the boy legally.

The 52-year-old man, identified only as Ake from Samut Prakan, said his wife is from Phuket. They had been married for 15 years and had only one child.

A few months ago, when his wife was visiting relatives in Phuket, Mr Ake wanted to take his son to get an identification card. For that, he needed the boy’s birth certificate – which he found out had been stored in a locked cabinet. After forcing it open, they found a lot more than they bargained for.

On close examination, the papers showed a different name for the boy. The birth certificate was in the name of a boy born on the same day to a couple living in the northeastern province of Sakon Nakhon.

Mr Ake asked his son, who said he had always used the name his mother told him to use. She said not to tell Mr Ake because then she would not be able to stay with him at the house. The boy had followed his mother’s instruction without realising what was behind it.

Mr Ake said he realised the boy might not be his son because 15 years ago he was often away, working in other provinces. His wife had told him she was pregnant and wanted to stay in Phuket. She refused to allow him to visit her during the pregnancy, and told him to come and collect her only after the child’s birth.

Mr Ake did not ask too many questions because he was glad to have a son. They had raised the boy, with the mother taking care of everything. He had seen only photocopies of his son’s school reports.

Mr Ake said that after seeing the papers he worried that his wife may have stolen the child from someone else. He asked her, and she eventually told him she got the boy from a friend who already had six children and was unable to care for a seventh.

She had done this because she could not conceive and was worried he would stop loving her.

After the truth was revealed, the wife again went to stay with relatives in Phuket. The boy was worried that his father would no longer love him, but Mr Ake insisted he would always be his son.

He decided to seek help finding the biological parents.

Foundation chairman Pavena Hongsakul later contacted the chief of Toa Ngoi district in Sakhon Nakhon, which is shown as the address of the parents on the birth certificate.

District chief Tossapol Sinyabuts has since found the couple, who confirmed they gave their son to Mr Ake’s wife as they were poor and worried that they could not afford to raise him. They were willing to make the adoption legal.

Foundation staff were taking Mr Ake and his son to meet the biological father on Monday. Bangkok Post

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