Polygamy in Thailand

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Prior to October 1, 1935 polygamy could be freely practiced and was recognised under civil law in Thailand.[1][2] The old family law divided wives into three categories, all in accordance to the way they became wives. There were three categories for a polygamous marriage, the first called "mia klang muang" (เมียกลางเมือง), who would be the "official wife" that the husband's parents had "acquired for him". The second known as "mia klang nok" (เมียกลางนอก), the "minor wife", whom the man acquired after his first marriage, and the third, "mia klang thasi" (เมียกลางทาสี), the title given to slave wives that were purchased from the mother and father of their prior owners.[3] The children resulting from these unions were all recognised as legitimate.

While polygamy has since been abolished, it is still alive in Thailand, and according to some, widely accepted.[4] Nevertheless, such unions are not recognised under Thai law in accordance with the law that states "A man or a woman cannot marry each other while one of them has a spouse."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Family Law of Thailand
  2. ^ Law of Husband and Wives B.E. 1904
  3. ^ Thai Family Law: Law of Husband and Wives B.E. 1904
  4. ^ Chintana Yossoonthorn, Women in Thailand, Proceedings of the Peace Corps Conference on Women and Development Bangkok, 1979, p. 11.
  5. ^ Civil and Commercial Code, Article 1452