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New Delhi: Suing to Get a Grandchild

A couple in India, Sanjeev Ranjan Prasad and his wife Sadhana Prasad, are retired and longing for a grandchild.  The couple have one son, who received pilot training in the United States and is currently a pilot. Approximately six years ago, Sanjeev and Sadhana arranged for their son to marry their now daughter-in-law. According to Sanjeev and Sadhana, more than enough time has passed for the couple to settle into married life and begin having children.

Petitioning the Court for Compensation

As a result, Sanjeev and Sadhana petitioned the court for compensation if a grandchild was not produced within the next year. According to reports, the petition was accepted by the court and scheduled for a hearing in Haridwar, a city in northern Uttarakhand state. Sanjeev and Sadhana are asking their son and daughter-in-law to pay them 50 million rupees if they do not produce a grandchild within the next year. As of the writing of this blog, 50 million rupees is roughly equivalent to 642,000.00 U.S. Dollars.

Sanjeev was quoted in an article by the Associated Press saying, “The main issue is that at this age we need a grandchild, but these people (my son and daughter-in-law) have an attitude that they don’t think about us.” It is unclear where Sanjeev and Sadhana’s son and daughter-in-law are residing and whether the son works for an airline based in the United States or India.

Desperate for Grandchildren

Although Sanjeev and Sadhana are desperate for grandchildren given their age, it is clear that many couples are shifting their focus away from having children and choosing to set their sights on career success and other milestones. According to a new Census Bureau analysis, the median age for first-time births rose from 27 to 30 between 1990 and 2019. This is the highest age on record. A trend is evident that many couples are choosing to parent in their 30s and 40s as opposed to their 20s. Although several factors can play a role in this analysis, fertility issues, life circumstances, and others (i.e., coronavirus) are a few factors that may weigh more heavily on couples’ minds than having children.

Although the type of legal action Sanjeev and Sadhana have filed does not exist in the United States, how the courts in Haridwar address the issue will be of great interest.