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China Requires Children to Check on Parents

Law Requires Chinese to Visit Their Parents

At some point, most teens can't wait to move out of their parents' house. But China is making sure children check back in with their parents by issuing a law that requires children to visit or keep in touch with their elderly parents. Failing to do so could result in being sued, the Associated Press reports.

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China is facing difficulty in caring for its aging population, and the law is aimed at raising awareness of the "right of elderly people to ask for emotional support," says Xiao Jinming, a law professor at Shandong University and one of the law's drafters.

The new law says the children of parents older than 60 should see that their parents' daily, financial, and spiritual needs are met. However, it does not specify how often people must visit, or clarify penalties for those who do not uphold the law.


Even before the law was enacted, several elderly parents had sued their children for emotional support, although most of the cases were settled.

Would you want to make it mandatory for your children to check in on you?

Image Source: Shutterstock
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Ian14774302 Ian14774302 3 years
I was in a loving relationship with a grown Chinese lady. She is 38 and lives in my country as the only member of her family so doing. She runs the family business for them here. Finally, she told them about me, the very next day, she refuses to talk to me any more and refuses to even explain. All she said was , My family wont accept you. And that was that!
MiaMaddalena MiaMaddalena 3 years
I was always taught that you are to love, respect and of course take care, of your Parents no matter what! I'm Italian and it was always important in our culture. I thought it was the same in the Chinese culture too. It is a shame that it has come to the law to enforce this. Please look after the elderly, they have a lot to share.
BonnieGraham41989 BonnieGraham41989 3 years
Chinese culture is different than ours. Elder parents are revered in China, and one reason for having children is so that the children can take care of the parents when they grow old.
karenwarden90607 karenwarden90607 3 years
Has no chance. And will lose the case.
karenwarden90607 karenwarden90607 3 years
This is horrible!!!!! I would spend the rest of my life in prison before I give the so called man I share half my DNA with a damn thing. I got into a fist fight with my sperm donor and had it not been for my husband the jerk would have knocked me out cold in front of my two lil girls. It's bad enough my state has grandparents rights. Thankfully because of his criminal record he h
CoMMember13631189244843 CoMMember13631189244843 3 years
I'd like to see how they actually enforce something like this for over a billion people. Sounds like alot of paper work to me.
OnyecheElisabethDouglas OnyecheElisabethDouglas 3 years
Seriously? This is a bit heavy-handed in my opinion. Surely, a good relationship between parents and children would generally mean that the children would want to take care of their parents whenever they get older? If an adult child is happy to abandon their kids then it is going to take more than the law to fix whatever is broken in that relationship. There are other practical issues of course. E.g. checking in would be hard to do if the child works and lives far away from where their elderly parents choose to stay. If the parents want to keep in touch, there is nothing that stops them calling up their children themselves or going out to visit. My guess though is that this is less about culture and more about the government wanting to not have any sort of responsibility for geriatric welfare. Parenting is more than just having a child. There are many people who blow it with their kids. I believe in second chances, but surely it is not for a government to insist and intervene in such matters. I wonder how they will dodge responsibility for those who do not have adult children. I am from Nigeria and there is a similar culture of filial responsibility that I think can be a bit suffocating. There needs to be some sort of balance. I think that is where social welfare and pensions come in. I would like to have a great relationship with my children when I am older, but I would not want them to relate with me out of obligation or be a burden. That means I need to plan for my retirement and work now on having a strong enough bond with them. That would mean that they would always feel that they have a home with me and I would never need to put them in a position where they are obligated to take care of me when I am older. Then again, Nigeria is different from China and maybe I am being unfair.
ChristineBenes ChristineBenes 3 years
This is the worst law. I am Chinese-American and was raised with this philosophy in a delusional way. My father commits murder and then his mother expects me to visit him in jail, write to him, give him food and money. In the meanwhile while he write letters of universal persecution of him and his family before him. And he stalks me by giving non-profits my private information and feeds them lies, so "good" people can beg me to write, and visit him. I have the right to live my life without abuse, stalking, and his insanity and so do my kids. This law give no rights to adult children, who have abusive elderly parents, (as least from what I know).
ElizabethConkle ElizabethConkle 3 years
Being an American that has actually lived in China, I think I bring an interesting perspective to this discussion. What most of you aren't aware of is that children are only allowed to go to school where the parents are from and many parents move to big cities for better paying jobs. This creates a situation where grandparents are raising grandchildren that the parents only see perhaps once per year. While this law seems strange to our culture where we have systems put in place to protect and care for our elderly, this makes perfect sense in the Chinese culture. The expectation is that your children will care for you when you are older, not the government. If you want your children to have an education, which is the only way to obtain a good job in the future, you make major sacrifices in your relationship with your child. How well can you know a child that you see once a year?
MargaretFloyd MargaretFloyd 3 years
This is just another example of an overbearing government imposing laws that regulate day to day life of citizens. Do I believe it is right for grown children to neglect elderly parent? NO. But if a grown child is not taking care of their parents, what kind of care will these parents actually be getting from children who are forced by law to do so? Proper loving care? Doubtful......
jacquelinebacolod jacquelinebacolod 3 years
In the Philippines there's no law such as this- instead it's LOVE that compels us to visit our parents and relatives. No one should command us to do such act it should not be a requirement but rather an initiative to show how much we love and respect our parents. By showing and letting your children see your genuine deed it follows they will do the same. What you sow is what you reap!!!
GloriaKetter GloriaKetter 3 years
Well it would be hard to do if you don't live close by, but in part I do agree with it. My mother is in a nursing home because me and my siblings don't live close enough to check on her daily. She couldn't care for herself anymore and after hiring home care for her for while , that was our only other choice. If we would have left her alone in her house, we would have been sited for elderly neglect and or she could have died from a fall. We visit her weekly, bring her flowers, decorations for her room, take her out for rides, give her manicures. We have birthday parties for her and celebrate the holidays with her there. We advocate for her even in the nursing home.
MelissaAN MelissaAN 3 years
I think it's not just social (which is the whole basis of capitalism) but also cultural. Many Asian cultures instill filial piety which is the belief that you should care for your parents in old age because they gave you life. I think what's important is developing a good relationship with your family but if your family is horrible to you should you really be forced to deal with them? I think it's complicated.
JohannaMcClelland JohannaMcClelland 3 years
I worked in a nursing home where residents would hardly ever get visits from family. And you could see it breaking their hearts. I think we should take care of our elders. That's what's lacking in today's society. Everyone is out for themselves. We need to take care of each other. As Jimi Hendrix said "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
HelenM70198 HelenM70198 3 years
I would rather go to jail than visit my mother, even though I have 2 young children; and I would fight all the way to prevent them having to visit her and my stepfather! If your parents did ok by you then yeah, maybe you should help support them as they get older, but if they let you down why should you have to support them?
CharityGallenHagenaars CharityGallenHagenaars 3 years
I agree with Bonnie, how many more human rights are you going to let the government take away from you. I am not saying forget about your aging patents at all, this has ansolutely nothing to do with that. As a matter of fact if you read more closely, I.E. between the lines, this is just one more thing that the government will control. Just like how they can control how many times a week a 13 year old needs to go to church with his family. That has already happened if you are not familiar with it. If something like this passes around here it will open a flood gate for other stupid laws. "Parents must support drug addict children even if they are 20 years old." "If you don't help an elderly person cross the road you will be fined." "If you BBQ on a Sunday and make your neighbors Sunday clothes smell like charcoal then you get kicked out of you house." There will be no end to the dictatorship at that point.
BonnieMessinger BonnieMessinger 3 years
I can't believe some Americans think this is a good idea. How much bigger should we let our government get? And besides that, am I the only one who sees how massively this could be abused and misinterpreted by those in power? Is our society really so degenerate that we now want the government to create laws that motivate us to be good people? If you don't return your grocery cart are you going to be fined? If you don't hold the door open for the person behind you will you lose shopping privileges? Seemed like there was a time when morals and values were taught in the home so that people acted like decent human beings without a nanny government.
Pamela72540 Pamela72540 3 years
I think that's a fabulous idea!!! Too many kids throw their parents in a nursing home then forget about them. These elderly people have the right to be cared for as they lose the ability to care for themselves. Too many people die alone because their kids have forgotten about them. This is reprehensible, and should be outlawed. YOU GO CHINA!!
rhondasojourn rhondasojourn 3 years
Right action leads to right thinking!!! China is enforcing INTERDEPENDANCE not co-dependance and not selfish - independence. We americans are in a throw away society. We should follow their example.
LeahWolber LeahWolber 3 years
The reason they are having this problem is because they limit the number of children a couple can have!
NirmaYuliansyah NirmaYuliansyah 3 years
I am glad i'm a muslim, it is a must obligation for kids to take care of their parents at possible best. Parents are not machine to make babies. We are who we are because of them.
CoMMember1363117435114 CoMMember1363117435114 3 years
It should not be a matter that requires discussing. Enough said.
LisaHeeney LisaHeeney 3 years
I would like to think that my children would visit me when I am older because they want to and not because they have to.
kaleidoscopequeen kaleidoscopequeen 3 years
Of course not. Say someone's parents were abusive or neglectful... why should they have any right to receive the support they never gave to their kids?
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