This house believes children should have legal obligations towards parents after adulthood.

If children had a legal obligation towards their parents after adulthood they would be responsible for the care of their parents in much the same way that a parent is legally responsible for the care of their children. This would legalise the assumption that adult children should look after parents. Historically the elderly have always needed the support of their offspring and the community in order to survive and this is still the case morally, but legally, a child in many parts of the world has no obligation to provide for their parents, with the responsibility of care often falling to the state in economically developed countries. India, Israel and Taiwan there are laws in place to force adult children to support their parents and in China parents can make their adult children sign a voluntary but legally binding Family Support Agreement. Similarly a dozen American states, including California and Illinois, have civil law in place that allows parents and grandparents to sue their descendants if they are in need of support that their children fail to provide willingly. In the United Kingdom the Elizabethan Poor Law made parents and children legally responsible for each other from 1601 until 1967: now no such law exists. Proponents would argue that it is important children provide for their elders, particularly in times when the provision of state pensions is becoming less economically viable, however opponents may question a society and a parent-child relationship that needs a law in place to enforce an obligation that should be a moral and not legal issue.

Bibliography 

'Caring for Elderly Parents', Laterlife.com, viewed on 19 June 2011 at 'How 600 die of thirst in care homes: Damning report exposes the rising number of elderly killed by neglect', Daily Mail (31 January 2011), viewed on 19 June 2011 at 'Malnutrition in hospital: Hungry to be heard', AgeUK, viewed on 19 June 2011 at 'Reducing winter deaths', AgeUK, viewed on 19 June 2011 at 'Spending Review: State pension age rise brought forward', BBC News (20 October 2010), viewed at 19 June 2011 at 'Strengthening Older Peoples' Rights: Towards a UN Convention', Global Action on Aging, viewed on 19 June 2011 at at 'What is EPRSS?', Elderlyparents.org.uk, viewed on 19 June 2011 'What we do', AgeUK, viewed on 19 June 2011 at 'Winter Mortality: Excess winter deaths fall', Office for National Statistics (23 November 2010), viewed on 19 June 2011 at 'A Dimension Analysis of Caregiver Burden Among Spouses and Adult Children', The Gerontologist (December, 2010), viewed on 19 June 2011 at Corak, Miles, 'Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility', IVA (March, 2006) viewed on 20 June 2011 at Habiger, Richard, 'Are Children Legally Responsible For Their Parents' Care?', viewed on 19 June 2011 at Hareven, Tamara K., 'The History of the Family and the Complexity of Social Change', The American Historical Review 96, 1 (February, 1991), p. 120Savundranayagam, Marie Y., Montgomery, Rhonda J. V., and Kosloski, Karl, Virola, Romulo A., 'The Poor Have Bigger Families: A Matter of Choice or Circumstance?', National Statistical Coordination Board viewed on 20 June 2011 at Templeton, Sarah-Kate, 'Cost of caring for the elderly set to double', The Sunday Times, 26 March 2006, viewed on 2 September 2011 at

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