Teen girl’s ID card request denied as she doesn’t look like her mother

Photo via Khaosod

Officials in the Nong Hong district office of the Isaan province of Buriram rejected a 14 year old girl’s request for a Thai ID card because they said she does not look like her mother.

The teenager’s disillusioned mother asked why it was a lot easier for foreigners running entertainment venues to claim their ID cards than people from Thailand.

The girl’s quest for an ID card is a little complicated.

The teen’s 40 year old mother, Wilai Thongton, explained that she moved from the Isaan province of Udon Thani to marry in Chiang Rai, where she had a daughter with her husband. After she divorced her ex-husband, she moved to Buriram and remarried. She then lost touch with her daughter who remained with her father.

Wilai said she reunited with her daughter on November 25. The daughter found her name on her birth certificate and trawled Facebook until she found her.

Wilai learned that her ex-husband went to Korea to work and never returned home and her daughter lived with her grandparents ever since the divorce.

Her daughter explained the ID card situation so Wilai told her to come to Buriram and they would get it processed at the Nong Hong district office.

However, the district officials refused to issue the card, stating “Your daughter doesn’t look like you.” The officer then told Wilai and her daughter to go back to Chiang Rai instead.

Wilai has all of the required documents and tried several times to get the ID card several times but the officials kept rejecting it.

“I asked everyone around me. Thai people can get an ID card at every district office. My daughter is Thai and has all of the documents but can’t claim her card. Why do the foreigners who run the entertainment venues get their Thai ID cards and not my daughter?”

Wilai pleaded with the media to highlight her story and urged the government department to solve the issue. Wilai said the resident databases in the district office were supposed to connect to each other.

The Permanent Secretary of the Nong Hong district office, Sunantha La-iat, informed the media that the issue was sensitive and the district worked according to the process. The ID card would be approved or not depending on the district chief.

The chief of the Nong Hong district office hasn’t made an announcement or explanation on the case up to now.

This story is a familiar one. About four months ago, a Thai man finally got his first ID card at the age of 48. He tried for more than 10 years and could not get one until he proved his nationality by taking a DNA test which cost him over 6,500 baht.

Thai citizens can claim their first ID card at the age of seven years old. They are also required to prove their nationality with a birth certificate or house registration. A person who fails to issue the first ID card within 60 days after the child’s seventh birthday will be fined up to 100 baht.

Thailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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