Parents sue son for not giving them grandkids

Parents needling their children about giving them grandkids is a well-known pop culture trope. One couple in India living in an extreme real-life example of this trope is expected to appear in court next week over their lack of children.

According to the Associated Press, a retired Indian couple has sued that their son and daughter-in-law have a child within a year or pay them the equivalent of $675,000. A court accepted their petition and a hearing is scheduled for Monday in Haridwar, a city in northern Uttarakhand state, said media reports cited by the outlet.

While news of parents suing their children for not reproducing is not common in the US, there have been cases of parents suing for loans or expenses given to their children. For example, ABC News reported that Daniel and Brenda Kerrigan – Olympic ice skater Nancy Kerrigan’s parents – had sued their other child, Mark, for allegedly refusing to pay back more than $100,000 in loans.

Sanjeev Ranjan Prasad – the 61-year-old retired government officer who, along with along with his 57-year-old wife Sadhana Prasad is suing his son and daughter-in-law – said he spent the equivalent of $47,300 for his son’s pilot training in the US and that his son was married six years ago.

In the US, parents are obliged to provide education, food, clothing, housing, access to medical care, protection, and financial support for their children until they become legal adults. According to the USA Hello site for refugees and immigrants in the US, 18 is the age people become adults in most states. Beyond that age, parents are not typically obliged to pay for their children’s schooling.

In 2014, New Jersey resident Caitlyn Ricci sued her parents for $16,000 to cover her out-of-state tuition at Temple University in Pennsylvania.
While the judge initially ruled in her favor, Ricci’s parents won the case on appeal in 2017.

“We want a grandson or a granddaughter within a year or compensation, because I have spent my life’s earnings on my son’s education,” Prasad told reporters Thursday. He added that the issue was “emotional and sensitive,” for the retired couple

“The main issue is that at this age we need a grandchild, but these people (my son and daughter-in-law) have an attitude that they don’t think about us,” said Prasad.

“Grandchildren are a ‘contingent’ relationship,” explained psychologist Karen Fingerman in a 2018 email to The Atlantic. “Contingent on a middle generation who is really the key to that tie. In general, in adult families, the generation that ‘owns’ the decision is the one that should be driving that decision. In some families, grown children may discuss this subject with their parents. But for many individuals, fertility is deeply private.”

Prasad said he and his wife “feel very unlucky,” without grandchildren.

“We are not getting love and affection from where we want it the most,” he said, according to the AP. Prasad’s son and daughter-in-law could not be reached for comment, said the outlet.

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