Taiwan's top court has instructed a man to pay his mother almost $1m (£710,000) for raising him and funding his dentistry training. The contract was signed in 1997, when he was 20 years old, stating he would pay her 60% of his monthly income after qualifying. She took him to court after refusal to pay her for several years. The son argued it was wrong to demand a financial return for raising a child, but the court over ruled it and demanded payment to be made to her. The mother, identified only by her surname Luo, raised both her sons after her divorce. Ms Luo said she had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars funding both her sons through dentistry school, but became worried they wouldn’t care for in her old age. She later signed a contract with both of them stating they would pay her a portion of their earnings as repayments for the school fees.
The elder son reached an agreement with his mother and settled the contract for a smaller amount. But the younger son, Chu, argued that he was very young when he signed the agreement, and should be considered invalid. Mr Chu argued that he had worked in his mother's dental clinic for years after graduating and had helped her make more money than she is demanding. A Supreme Court spokeswoman told the BBC the judges had reached their decision mainly because the contract was valid since the son was an adult when he signed it and was not forced to do so. Under Taiwan's civil code, adult offspring have the responsibility to provide for their elderly parents, although most parents do not sue if their children fail to take care of them in old age, the BBC's Cindy Sui in Taipei reports. This case is seen as unusual because it involves a parent-child contract, our correspondent adds.