Sanjeev and Sadhana Prasad are ready to become grandparents, and whether their son and his wife are ready or not doesn’t appear to be a major concern for the parents living in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Prasads have given their son Shrey and his wife Shubhangi Sinha one year to have a baby, or else they’ll ask them to pay them a whopping $650,000 in a “mental cruelty” suit.
In an interview with the Times of India, the Prasads said that they were suing their son and daughter-in-law for not providing them with a grandchild. While they offered to give them a year to create and birth a baby, they plan to demand $650,000 from their 35-year-old son if they do not comply. Why that amount? That’s how much they figure they invested in their child, including a car they bought him and paying for his pilot lessons.
“I have only one son,” Sanjeev Prasad explained to the news outlet. “I spent all my savings on his upbringing and education. He returned to India in 2007 due to the economic recession abroad. He had lost his job and could not find another for over two years. I supported him financially during this period as well.”
They also found him a wife six years ago “with the hope that we would get us a grandchild to play with in our retirement age.” Their son and his wife, however, are not on the same timeline. Or even in the same city, apparently. “My son and daughter-in-law are living in two separate cities,” Prasad told the Times of India, adding that their daughter-in-law rarely stays with them or visits. Whether she wants a baby or not, these potential grandparents have a solution. “If she is worried about taking care of the child due to her job, she could give the baby to us so that we could look after his upbringing,” Prasad said.
“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,” Prasad said, as the Associated Press reported. “We got him married in the hope we would have the pleasure of becoming grandparents. It has been six years since their marriage. It feels as if despite having everything we have nothing.”
The couple’s legal counsel explained to local outlet ANI News that the Prasads were within their rights to sue for a grandchild. “We invest in our children, make them capable of working in good firms. Children owe their parents basic financial care,” AK Srivastava told the outlet.
Grandparents’ rights of visitation and access are certainly a thing in many countries around the world, but those rights are for grandchildren who already exist. It’s pretty unprecedented for parents to preorder a grandchild to “play with” in their retirement age and ask for reparations if their own child is simply not complying.