US Filial Responsibility Laws

Never could I have imagined such a thing as filial responsibility laws in the USA - land of the 'look after yourself' ethos. But maybe it does fit well, because if the children don't look after parents when they can, who else is going to do it? The state?

From an article by Quentin Fortrell on MarketWatch
Some 28 U.S. states have so-called filial responsibility laws, which can be traced back to colonial times and (in theory) impose a duty on adult children to support their impoverished parents. Those states don’t include New York. Here’s a list of the other 28 * that do have those laws, even if they don’t practice them. One of those states is Pennsylvania, which did use filial responsibility to force an adult child to pay his mother’s bill. In 2012, Pennsylvania court ruled that John Pittas must pay his mother’s $93,000 nursing home bill after she moved to Greece. Otherwise, they are rarely enforced.

* 30 states in the U.S. have some type of filial responsibility laws in place. The states that have such laws on the books are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

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