Today in “we don’t know what to think about this” news, a Taiwanese man was ordered to repay his mother for raising him and putting him through dental school — specifically, a whopping one million dollar. The mother and son reportedly signed a contract in 1997 in which the son, who was 20 years old at the time, vowed to pay his mother 60% of his monthly income after getting his dentistry license. But after he refused to pay her over the years, she took him to court.
The son, identified by the last name Chu, argued it was wrong to demand a financial return for raising a child. He also claims he had already paid back a large portion of his contractual debt from working at his mother’s dental clinic following his college graduation.
But on Tuesday, January 2, Taiwan’s Supreme Court ruled that the contract is valid since he was an adult when he initially signed the agreement. Also, as a successful dentist, he has the means to repay his mother, Luo, the sum of 22.33 million Taiwanese dollars.
Luo reportedly feared neither of her sons would fulfill their traditional social obligation to take care of her when she was old, so she had them sign an agreement to refund her what she had paid to put them both through dental school. Luo, a single mom, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars raising her sons following her divorce from their father.
As the BBC notes, in Taiwan children are legally obligated to care for their aging parents, though most parents don’t sue if it doesn’t happen.
We can honestly see both sides of the coin on this one…but at the end of the day, a deal’s a deal.