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  1. #1
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    Default Adoption/ British Citizenship / British Passport

    Hi,
    I`m currently in the process of adopting my step daughter who is living in England.
    But I wish to give her my surname, which is very important to her. But after adoption / citizenship, I am told it`s very difficult to apply for a British passport while holding a Thai passport in the old surname.
    I hear the British Passport office can make exemptions, ie a letter for the UK Thai Embassy issuing a letter stating they can`t change the name in the Thai Passport, to run along side the Brirtish one. ( but this seems hit or miss taken on each seperate case ).
    Anyone gone through this lately ?.

  2. #2
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    We are in the same situation,our niece has been adopted by us in the UK and has a British passport in one name and her Thai passport in her original surname. Last year, when we were on holiday in Phetchabun we went to the amphur office to change her name to the British name. They would not do it and said that the only way a Thai can change their surname to a foreign name is by marrying a foreigner. They said that we had to get a stamp from the government adoption agency.

    They suggested that we go to Bangkok to the government adoption centre and they could arrange things. (They really didn't know what they were talking about.) It was clear that we were asking for something that no one had asked for before. We phoned the adoption centre who said that we should turn up with our paperwork and they would make a decision in the fullness of time. They wouldn't tell us what paperwork was required, how long it would take or what their process for making the decision was. We explained that we were 400km away and on holiday and they still wouldn't tell us anything useful.

    When we got back I contacted the UK passport office explaining our difficulties and they replied that they would consider having 2 passports in different names if we got a letter from the Thai embassy in London. We emailed them......and didn't get a reply.

    Our niece's British passport runs out about a year before her Thai passport. We are thinking that we will have to let her be without a British passport until the Thai passport runs out and then get her a British passport because she will have only one passport then, so getting it won't be a problem. Then in the future at some time see what happens we she applies for another Thai passport.

  3. #3
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    Hi Steady, I think you were lucky for them to issue a British passport for your niece while she holds a Thai passport in a different surname.
    If the British Passport office does not make an exemption, we may have to start an adoption process in Thailand to run along side the Uk adoption. ( to change the surname). Below is copy of letter from the Thai Embassy from someone who was successful.
    19441170_1813216918705270_1772796588_n.jpgI know people have been successful, but it`s hit or miss.
    When did you adopt ?.

  4. #4
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    We adopted about 3 years ago, before the UK changed the rules about passports. Then it was ok to have different names.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steady View Post
    We adopted about 3 years ago, before the UK changed the rules about passports. Then it was ok to have different names.
    Hi,
    With stories I hear today I will have to stay with her old surname, to apply for a British Passport. Maybe later change name by deed poll. The pass port office does not seem to give way on this.

  6. #6
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    If you live in the UK and will only go for shortish holidays to Thailand then maybe you should consider just having a British passport only. I say this because all of our children would rather go to Spain or anywhere else in Europe rather than the long haul to Thailand. Our older daughter (niece) is now going on a school trip to Paris - really easy with a British passport.

    We never use the Thai passports except when going to Thailand which is maybe once every 2 years and our holidays are usually less than 30 days so British passports are fine. It's up to individuals but to me it seems that there is a case for only having a British passport. This will be the case for our niece after her Thai passport expires and she can get a new British one.

    I've resent an email to the Thai embassy asking for a letter from them to help our case. I'll let you know if we get an answer this time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by steady View Post
    If you live in the UK and will only go for shortish holidays to Thailand then maybe you should consider just having a British passport only. I say this because all of our children would rather go to Spain or anywhere else in Europe rather than the long haul to Thailand. Our older daughter (niece) is now going on a school trip to Paris - really easy with a British passport.

    We never use the Thai passports except when going to Thailand which is maybe once every 2 years and our holidays are usually less than 30 days so British passports are fine. It's up to individuals but to me it seems that there is a case for only having a British passport. This will be the case for our niece after her Thai passport expires and she can get a new British one.

    I've resent an email to the Thai embassy asking for a letter from them to help our case. I'll let you know if we get an answer this time.
    Hi Steady,
    The problem is because my step daughter holds a Thai passport in the old surname, the passport office would not issue a British passport because of the clash of surnames, they do not match.

  8. #8
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    Just a thought is there a way of cancelling the Thai passport via the embassy then she will not have a thai passport so the name not matching will no longer matter. Even washing it so its damaged would make it invalid seems a bit extreme but may be worth checking with the UK and/or Thai authorities
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  9. #9
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    My understanding is that having two passports from different countries causes problems but I thought that when one expires then that person only has one passport, so that (remaining) name is the name that counts. Does anyone know something different?

  10. #10
    Premium Member Gary & Nok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steady View Post
    My understanding is that having two passports from different countries causes problems
    ??? You are allowed to be a "Duel National" so having 2 passports is not a problem.

    Nok has a passport in her Laos name and when that runs out she renews it in Laos (or Paris). She also has a British passport (in my name) and when that runs out will renew it here in the UK.

    Neither country is interested in if she holds another passport, at least so far they have not. We were actually told by the Passport office that it is not up to them to tell anyone that she is applying/receiving a British passport so the fact she has one from Laos is irrelevant to them.

    Unless rules have changed and Nok is now in violation of something or other, but that is my understanding.
    Have I Mentioned That I VOTED OUT

  11. #11
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    Now when you renew a British passport there is a question asking you to confirm that any other passport you hold is in the same name as the British passport. This is the problem we all now seem to have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steady View Post
    Now when you renew a British passport there is a question asking you to confirm that any other passport you hold is in the same name as the British passport. This is the problem we all now seem to have.

    Hi,
    It is fact if you want a British passport it has to match the surname on the Thai passport.

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  14. #14
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    Now when you renew a British passport there is a question asking you to confirm that any other passport you hold is in the same name as the British passport. This is the problem we all now seem to have.
    Not if your wife changed her name to your name after the wedding and has her Thai ID Passport etc in your name (How many on the forum posted this was a waste of time and not even a good idea )
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  15. #15
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    Your comment is correct, except that on this thread we were discussing other family members such as adopted children. It is not possible to get their name changed easily, in my case we haven't managed it, even after communicating with the UK passport office and trying to get a response from the Thai Embassy.

    My adopted daughter was adopted in the UK and now has a Thai name in her Thai passport and British name in her UK passport. I'm looking for someone who knows how to get her Thai name changed to my family name. It cannot be done in the local amphur in Thailand because, as we were told, the only time a Thai can change their surname to a foreign name is by marriage to a foreigner.

  16. #16
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    Looks like there is a solution without name changes

    https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...ugust_2016.pdf

    Without further ado, here is the new name policy page, which contains two pdf documents:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... e-guidance

    In the first pdf, "Use and Change of Names" (click on "Change of name guidance"), the relevant portions are paragraphs 26 to 28. They allow the issue of a British passport in a name other than that on a person's foreign passport if the person can prove that the foreign country of which they are a citizen won't allow them to change their names, and that they have been using their new name (the name desired on the British passport) 'for all purposes'.

    In the second pdf, "Annex A: Use of Names in Passports", the relevant sections are paragraphs 6.5 to 6.7. They reiterate the material from the first pdf, provide a few more details, and specify that in such a case, an observation will be placed in the British passport explaining that the person is also known by their other name on their foreign passport.

    The new documents also make provision for people who have trouble changing their names on their foreign passports because this would require them to travel to the foreign country to change their passports, but the standard there (Annex A, paragraph 6.7, part iii) is that the person would have to be 'placed at a high level of risk' in order to travel to their other country of citizenship.
    Last edited by ash; 24th Aug 2017 at 21:20. Reason: new guidance might solve this problem
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  17. #17
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    That's all very good, but you must be able to prove that you cannot change your name in the other country. We were given this information from the UK passport office and they insisted that the only way to prove things was by a letter from the Thai Embassy. This is why we have contacted the Thai Embassy twice. We have asked for a document stating that this is the case. We haven't even had an acknowledgement and if the embassy just ignores your request then you can't go forward.

    This was discussed earlier in the thread where it really appears to be hit and miss when dealing with the embassy as some people do get a letter. All very Thai.

  18. #18
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    Hi,
    Adoption order was granted today, we are going to keep the old surname to stop any complications when appling for the British passport.
    I`m just so happy the adoption went ok, with no problems.

  19. #19
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    That’s great news. The adoption certificate is all that you will need to apply for the passport to prove name change.
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  20. #20
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    As can be seen by anyone who has followed this thread, we have had a few hurdles to clear before getting our adopted daughter (our natural niece) her British passport renewed. She had our family name in her UK passport and her Thai family name in her Thai passport. The Thai amphur office would not allow her to change her name because we had a foreign name and she had been adopted in a foreign country. They said that the only way a Thai woman can change her name to a foreign name is to marry a foreigner.

    Anyway we contacted the UKPO who advised that we get a letter from the Thai embassy stating that this was fact. We emailed the Embassy 3 times with no reply. Finally my wife phoned them and they offered to write a letter for us as long as we sent them a letter requesting a document (and a stamped self addressed envelope). We were asked to write what we required the embassy to write too.

    In the fullness of time we got our reply which was the standard letter from the embassy seen earlier in this thread. Nothing from the letter we sent was included except our niece's name.

    We then applied for a UK passport and a week later we got a letter refusing the passport and saying that we had to go to Thailand to get names changed. I phoned the passport office stating that we had already been to Thailand and everyone refused the name change. The lady said that she could not deal with me and someone will phone me in a "few days". Anyway someone did phone me the next day (he was obviously one rung up the sticky pole). He began by saying that in Thailand names can be changed on house registration books, I told him not in our case. He asked all of the questions again, I answered everything again - giving names , date and time of our earlier email and where and when in Thailand we had our problems. He said that he would have to escalate our case and he didn't know when we would hear anything.

    Well, to cut a long story short, the British passport arrived today. It did have the observation that our daughter has another passport with a different name. That is not a problem.

    I just wish that the Thai embassy and UKPO had been a bit clearer about what they could do and what they required from us. In the end when we started speaking to people they were as professional as hoped for and things did get done in a fair and reasonable manner.

    So for any members in a similar situation - it can be done. Just get on the phone to them earlier on (make sure that you have proof or a reasonable story) and hopefully things will get done a lot quicker than happened for us.

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