A Taiwanese court has recently ordered a dentist to pay one million dollars to his mother because he had signed a contract in which he agrees to willingly give 60 percent of his net profits to his mother until the covering of the cost of his raising and education.
Luo, The mother of the dentist, is a divorced woman that had to raise her two boys by herself. After noticing that regardless of all her big sacrifices, her boys would have no attention to look after her in her old age, so she had the idea to get some commitment from them. In 1997, when her sons were dentist students, she made them sign a contract; it clearly stipulated that they would pay her a share of their net profits until covering the sum of almost $1.7 million, as reimbursement for the money and sacrifices she had given on both their studies and upbringing. They both agreed, however, one of them refused to honor the deal making his mother took the case to court.
Taiwan’s highest courts were the one to hear both parties’ arguments before making a final judgment. On one hand, Ms. Luo stated that the contracts were legally-binding and all she wanted is her sons to be honoring them. On the other hand, the youngest son claimed that he did not fully understand the consequences of the contract due to his young age (20 years old) when he signed it. In addition, he had already given his mother 1 million $, which he felt was more than enough. He also added that the contract dishonored “good customs” because raising a child cannot be measured in financial terms.
After the hearing, a judge decided that the dentist, referred to by Taiwanese media as Mr. Chu, signed the contract as an adult, without being forced or tricked into it, so he should honor its terms. The man was ordered to pay the remaining $754,000 of the agreed “upbringing fee” with additional interest raising the debt to his mother to $967,000.
“I believe everyone should want to repay their parents for raising them once they’ve grown old, so I support the judge’s decision,” Wu Chih-hang, a young Taipei dentist, told the New York Times.
However, others thought that the mother was getting much more money than she had actually spent on her sons’ upbringing and education.
“The old woman got some serious cash — she got $1.7 million to raise a kid,” a Jason Chen commented on Taiwanese broadcaster EBC’s website. “I’m not even sure if I cost $170,000 to raise.”