A few obligations because of public policy or implications drawn from statutes are binding upon infante and cannot be disaffirmed. Though an infant may disaffirm an executory promise to marry,95 a marriage itself contracted by him is binding.96 A contract of apprenticeship in England has been held binding,97 but in the United States, aside from statute, is voidable by him.98 A contract of enlistment in the army or navy may be made by statute binding upon an infant. The matter depends in every case on the construction of the statute in question.99 The undertaking of an infant, by bond or contract, to answer a charge of bastardy, or to support his bastard child, cannot be disaffirmed. l Nor can an infant's recognizance or bail bond for his personal appearance at court.2 At common law a husband became liable for the antenuptial debts of his wife and an infant husband was liable for such debts of his wife, without power of disaffirmance.3 This obligation of the infant husband,
94 Barnnby v. Barnaby, 1 Pick. 221; Jones v. Phoenix Bank, 8 N. Y. 228.
95 Warwick c. Bruce, 2 M. & S. 205; Hale v. Ruthven, 20 L. T. (N. S.) 404; Coxhead v. Mullis, 3 C. P. D. 439; Morris v. Graves, 2 Ind. 364; Hamilton v. Lomax, 28 Barb. 61G; Hunt v. Peake, 6 Cow. 47S, 15 Am. Dec. 475; Rush v. Wick, 31 Oh. St. 521,27 Am. Rep. 523; Warwick v. Cooper, 5 Sneed, 659; Wells v. Hardy, 21 Tex. Civ. App. 454, 51S. W. 503; Pool v. Pratt, 1 Chip. 252.
96See cases in preceding note, also Taylor v. Johnston, 19 Ch. D. 603,608. Local statutes generally fix an age below which an infant cannot contract marriage, and provision is often made requiring the consent of a parent or guardian.
97 Rex v. Hindringham, 6 T. R. 557; Leslie v. Fitspatrick, 3 Q. B. D. 229; and any reasonable contract of employment is held binding also, if on the whole beneficial to the infant. De-Francesco v. Barnum, 45 Ch. D. 430; Clements v. London, etc., Ry. Co.,  2 Q. B. 482.
95 Clark d. Goddard, 39 Ala. 164, 84 Am. Dec. 777; Harney v. Owen, 4 Blackf, 337, 30 Am. Dec. 662. See also Heroin v. Myers, 71 Ind. 359.
96 See the discussion in Re Morrissey, 137 U. 8.157, 34 L. Ed. 644,11 S. Ct. 57.
1 Gavin v. Burton, 8 Ind. 69; Stowers v. Hollis, 83 Ky. 644; McCall v. Parker, 13 Metc. 372, 46 Am. Dec 735; Bordentown v. Wallace, 50 N. J. L. 13, 11 Atl. 267; People v. Moores, 4 Demo, 518, 47 Am. Dec. 272.
2 State v. Weatherwax, 12 Kans. 403; Fagin v. Goggin, 12 R. I. 398; Attorney General v. Baker, 9 Rich. Eq. 521; Commonwealth v. Semmes, 38 Va. 666.
3 Nicholson v. Wilborn, 13 Ga. 467; Butler v. Breck, 7 Metc 164, 39 Am.
however, was imposed upon him by law, not by his own contract. Such obligations must be performed, and it may be added that in any case where an infant merely carries out an obligation which the law would compel him to fulfil he cannot avoid the act.4 In England it has been laid down broadly that a contract which is not within the terms of the Infant's Relief Act is binding if on the whole for the benefit of the infant, though it contains some disadvantageous terms;5 but it seems that no such general rule obtains in the United States. The numerous unqualified statements as to infants' contracts being voidable are opposed to it; 6 and it is specifically held in numerous cases that an infant may avoid a contract of employment and recover on a quantum meruit the value of the services he has rendered.7 It is also to be observed
Dec. 76S; Roach v. Quick, 9 Wend. 238; Griseom v. Beidleman, 35 Okla. 343, 139 Pan. 853, 856; Cole v. Seeley, 25 Vt. 220, 60 Am. Dec. 258, Somewhat similarly an infant widow was held bound to pay the funeral expenses of her husband in Chappie v. Cooper, 13 M. & W. 252.
4 Thus a conveyance made by an infant to one to whom the infant was bound as a constructive trustee, cannot be avoided. Zouch v. Parsons, 3 Burr. 1794; Elliott v. Horn, 10 Ala, 348, 44 Am. Dec. 488; Nordholt v. Nordholt, 87 Cal. 552, 26 Pac. 599, 22 Am. St. Rep. 268; Starr v. Wright, 20 Oh. St. 97. See also Tucker v. More-land, 10 Peters, 58, 9 L. Ed. 345; Hlawaty v. Zeock, 253 Pa. 311, 98 Atl. 557; Clary v. Spain, 119 Va. 58, 89 S. E. 130; Trader v. Jarvis, 23 W. Va. 100.
5 This was so ruled in Clements v. London, etc., Ry. Co., 11894] 2 Q. B. 482 (citing earlier authorities), where an infant employee's agreement to accept the benefits of an insurance fund in lieu of his common-law rights in case of accident was held binding upon him. It makes little difference whether it is said, as it was by some of the court, that such a contract binds the infant, or whether it is said as by Kay, L. J., that the court might say that the contract was for the benefit of the infant, and elect for him, while he is an infant, to confirm it.
6 See supra, Sec. 224; but see Young v. Sterling Leather Works, 91 N. J. L. 289, 102 Atl. 396.
7 Ray v. Haines, 52 111. 485; Van Pelt p. Corwine, 6 Ind. 363; Meredith v. Crawford, 34 Ind. 399; Derocher v. Continental Mills, 58 Me. 217, 4 Am. Rep. 286; Gaffney v. Hayden, 110 Mass. 137, 14 Am. Rep. 580; Dube v. Beaudry, 150 Mass. 448, 23 N. E. 222, 6 L. R. A. 146; Lowe v. Sinklear, 27 Mo. 308; Lufkin v. Mayall, 25 N. H. 82; Medbury v. Watrous, 7 Hill, 110; Ramsdell v. Coombs Aeroplane Co., 161 N. Y. S. 360; Dearden v. Adams, 19 R. I. 217, 36 Atl. 3; Nashville ft C. R. Co. v. Elliott, 1 Cold. 611; Hoxie v. Lincoln, 25 Vt. 206. The plaintiff should recover only the benefit which his services have conferred upon the defendant, but no deduction should be made (as was permitted in some of these cases) of damages due to the plaintiffs failure to fulfil his contract. To make such a deduction is in effect that England and jurisdictions in the United States which deny the right to an infant to disaffirm any executed transaction without restoring the consideration received, necessarily make such a transaction binding upon the infant if it is or becomes impossible to put the other party to the contract in statu quo.8 The obligation of an infant for necessaries furnished him does not properly depend on contract and is subsequently considered.9 In a jurisdiction where contracts for the benefit of a third person give him a right of action upon it, an infant beneficiary cannot rescind the contract and claim what was paid as consideration for the promise for his benefit.10