Zhang was only 2 years old when her parents decided they could no longer raise her and placed her in the care of relatives. Since then, they have had little to no contact with her. The 29-year-old woman has always considered the family of her aunt who raised her to be her biological family. It is for this reason that she recently used some of her savings to help a cousin, whom she considers her brother, buy an apartment. However, she never expected that her generosity would suddenly make her biological parents remember her to ask her to buy an apartment for her biological brother as well.
Zhang’s biological parents, who also live in Guangzhou, demanded that she take care of their son, whom they raised on their own despite financial difficulties. When the young woman refused, they filed a lawsuit in the local court demanding 500,000 yuan ($72,000) in “parental allowance”.
Recently, a Chinese court issued a controversial verdict that sparked outrage on Chinese social media. It held that while Zhang was not required to give property to her adult biological brother or otherwise help him financially, she was legally required to support her parents.
Filial piety is very important in China, and the law clearly states that all adult children have an obligation to support their biological parents, whether or not they fulfilled their parental responsibilities. In essence, if they gave you life, you must support them when you grow up if their income does not cover the needs of everyday life. In this particular case, the court ruled that Zhang needed to negotiate with her biological parents about the amount to be paid as alimony.