China: Around The Nation

Mother in rural China sues her four children for neglect

Crippled woman, 73, lives alone at abandoned temple, but still her children are reluctant to take her in

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 October, 2016, 3:46pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2017, 12:53pm

A 73-year-old woman in in China’s southwest brought her two sons and two daughters to a touring court – stage in an open farm field – on Friday accusing of parental neglect, the West China City Daily reports.

Since 2010, the woman has been living alone in a derelict temple in Pengzhou, Sichuan. After he husband died, none of her children wanted her in their home.

Recently she began suffering severe leg pain, rendering her immobile and unable to take care of herself. Yet still, none of the children came to take her home.

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The mother raised several demands at the outdoor hearing, including that she should live with her eldest son, that each daughter should pay 100 yuan and the younger son should provide bags of rice as her monthly living expenses. She also asked that the four children equally shoulder her medical expense and pay for her funeral after she dies.

She also requested the children to visit her on her birthday and other traditional holidays.

It was an open trial attended by more than 100 villagers.

Some were shocked to hear from the judge that leaving parents unintended was against the law.

By tradition, a married daughter or sons who did not have a share in the family fortune were spared the responsibility of taking care of their parents.

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The woman’s elder son rejected her requests, saying his mother and wife did not get along and that living together would only ruin the entire family.

The other children said they were willing to pay the money, but they all declined to take their mother home.

The hearing last more than an hour and the judge failed to reach a consensus among the woman and her children. He said a verdict would be made by the end of this month.