Well, that's a twist - adult children sued for parental support in BC

Ken Anderson sued for parental support by mother who abandoned him. He was 15 at the time, and forced to quit school to support himself. Now his estranged mother is 71 and is suing him and four of his siblings for some serious parental support - $750 a month, each. Apparently this law is still on the books there as a holdover from the Great Depression days. Nice parenting there, mom.

Wow, that’s jacked up.

Wow. That lady puts the ass in class.

She has a 401Kid plan.

Can they sue her for back child support, maybe? If she abandoned at least one child when he was 15, then she’d need to pay at least 25 years worth? Plus interest, of course.

Plus, the amount she’s asking for is outrageous.

Its a bad single case scenario, and hopefully the case won’t rule in her favor given the circumstances, but I’m not so sure it proves the rule.

With an aging boomer population and a depression-era economy happening right now, is this a law that best serves the public good by being repealed?

I’d say the public good is served by this law being repealed at any time. Children do not “owe” their parents anything. Especially parents who abandoned them, literally or figuratively.

That is a good question, Count. The laws were put in place for a somewhat-similar situation - wanting children to pay for their aging parents rather than having the government pay for them. Of course, the retiring adults now have paid into CPP for many decades, so the situation isn’t exactly the same.

Now IANAL, but the interesting bit to me appears to be this, “Under a little-used section of the B.C. Family Relations Act, there is a legal obligation for adult children to support ‘dependent’ parents.” That suggests a close relationship, such as if your elderly parents live with you. Now it’s not clear from this article how much contact the guy and his siblings have had with their birth mother, but I’m guessing not enough to raise the relationship to the “dependent” level.

Also, I Googled the B.C. Family Relations Act and I think this is the relevant portion.

What if they simply refuse to pay and she dies in a few years?

Wow. What a jerk. That lady – no, she’s no lady – that woman is really messed up. She abandons the kids, then expects them to support her? I hope her offspring don’t have to pay.

Agreed. The liability for child support only exists because of specific actions taken by the parents. Short of suicide or murder, there is nothing a child could do to avoid a liability for parental support, if it existed by default.

There’s a similar law in Spain: your parents can disown or abandon you, but you can’t disown or abandon them. If an elderly person with no relatives is found to be living in inadequate conditions, it’s a social problem to be fixed by social services; if someone in the same conditions has children, social services steps in but so do the courts, to investigate whether it represents a case of “abandonment of an elderly person” and/or “abuse of an elderly person”.

In a case like the one linked a reasonable judge would rule that when the mother abandoned the children she gave up parental rights along with the duties (children found abandoned, taken from parental custody, or given into adoption do not have those duties towards their birthparents), but not all judges are reasonable.

Doesn’t Singapore have a similiar law?