Monday, July 1, 2013

It's now law that Chinese kids must visit their aging parents

We hear a lot these days about the aging population demographics. Pundits, politicians and health care workers alike talk about the fact that the aging population will have huge, unexpected consequences for all of us. Here is one idea that I haven't heard any talk about in our country: a new law that requires children to visit their parents. In China, a new law makes it mandatory for children to see to their parents' physical, financial and spiritual needs. Click here to read a story about this in the National Post.

This is a clear signal that the government is throwing the responsibility for looking after aging parents back onto the family and doesn't intend to be of much help. I couldn't imagine a law like this being passed in Canada. Apparently the new law doesn't give specifics as to how often a child should visit or call, but does let the kids know they risk being sued. The lawyer in me wants to examine this idea to see how it applies to blended families, step-children, and illegitimate children. I want to know exactly what the children are expected to do. I want to know whether a child can be left out of the parents' wills for not doing what was mandated.I guess I'll just have to wait to find out more, as this new law just came into effect.

The attached photo is from the National Post story, and is credited to AP Photo/Andy Wong.

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