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Big babies: Mom wins court case to evict her 40-year-old sons in Italy

FILE - A mother in Pavia, Italy won a court case to evict her adult sons, both in their 40s, from her home. Getty Images via miodrag ignjatovic

It can be hard to know when it’s time for a child to leave the nest, but for one fed-up mother in Italy, that day is long overdue.

A 75-year-old Italian woman has won a court case declaring that her two adult sons — aged 40 and 42 — will be evicted from her home in the northern Italian city of Pavia, local media reported.

The woman, who has not been named publicly, told the court she has long since tried to persuade her sons to move out on their own. She claimed all of her efforts were fruitless — and said her aggravation was only increased because both of her children are employed and able to financially support themselves.

According to the Italian newspaper Avvenire, the mother also told the judge her children did not contribute to the household expenses or chores.

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Unsure what else to do, the mother decided to take her sons to court.

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Judge Simona Caterbi ultimately sided with the mother and agreed it was time for her sons to leave. Though the judge noted there is an obligation for parents to care for their children, Caterbi said that was no longer the case as both men are in their 40s.

Judge Caterbi gave the sons until Dec. 18 to vacate their mother’s home.

In Italy, it is not uncommon for adult children to live with their parents, the Guardian reported. An Italian study from 2022 found nearly 70 per cent of people in the country between 18 and 34 years old lived at home with their parents. The study also claimed men were more likely to stay than women, with almost 73 per cent of men in the age bracket living under a parent’s roof, compared to the 66 per cent of women who did the same.

Economic conditions and lengthy job hunts are likely reasons why adult children are staying at home, The Guardian reported.

Still, adult children living with their parents have in recent years earned a reputation as being “bamboccionis,” meaning “big babies.” The term was first used by former minister of economy and finance Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, who suggested Italian 20-somethings were choosing to live with their parents because of the free room and board. The comment angered many Italians and triggered responses from families claiming that their children did not make a salary large enough to support themselves.

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