Overturn Chinese Law that Allows Parents to Sue Children for Infrequent Visits

Target: The National People’s Congress of China

Goal: Overturn law requiring children to visit parents “often” or risk being sued.

Medicare. Social security. Senior living centers. Retirement fund plans. Chinese lawmakers are certainly not the only ones making an effort to take care of the elderly. But this time, the National People’s Congress has taken it a bit too far. Recently, Chinese lawmakers amended a law requiring children to visit their elderly parents often, with a new clause that allows parents to sue if they feel neglected.

Not only is the clause grossly vague and ambiguous, but it reflects deeply-instilled roots of a corrupt and authoritarian government. First, in order to be an effective piece of legislation, “often” must be defined. Does that mean weekly? Monthly? Every day?  It is impossible to determine, making it equally impossible to enforce the law. But semantics aside, Chinese lawmakers have no right to decide how often children should visit their parents.  They cannot claim to accurately represent the needs and wishes of every elderly person in China. This is a violation of freedom of choice.

Elderly people deserve respect and should be cared for by their children if necessary. However, demanding frequent visits to elderly parents does not afford respect and is borderline dictatorial. China’s authoritarian legislation must be changed. Change will restore freedom and justice to China’s elderly population and their families. Ultimately, this law would only scare children into visiting their parents. It would not repair relationships between parents and their children. Nor would it earn the children’s respect. Rather, it would earn their fear and resentment. If China is aiming to instill in its younger generation an appreciation and respect for its elderly citizens, this is certainly not the way to do it.

Demand China revoke this ridiculous, futile piece of legislation and affect real change for its elderly citizens. By signing this petition, you will speak out against authoritarian government and show your respect for the elderly community.


To the National People’s Congress of China,

Recently, you voted to pass an amendment which requires children to visit their parents often or risk being sued. While your intentions are good, this legislation is ineffective and unjust for several reasons.

First, your demand of visiting “often” is ambiguous and unclear. No specific rules are set here, which instantly undermines the credibility of the law. Children are ordered to visit their parents “often,” but “often” is not clearly defined. Additionally, this law demands people participate in an activity that should be voluntary and enjoyable. Freedom of choice is revoked completely. Cultural differences aside, this is a violation of human rights. Furthermore, demanding these visits affords neither respect nor appreciation for the elderly and instead harbors fear, contempt, and resentment.

Ultimately, this bill is doomed to fail. If China wants to take care of its elderly community, then it is in the country’s best interest to overturn this law immediately. Please revoke this authoritarian piece of legislation and give elderly people the respect and freedom they deserve.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit to Chalmers Butterfield via wikipedia.

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42 Signatures

  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
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