china's "birth tourism" boom

Here's an interesting article from last Sunday's Washington Post about agencies that arrange for expectant Chinese mothers to give birth in the United States, with the hopes of getting a U.S. passport and citizenship -- and thus, a more secure future -- for their new baby: For many pregnant Chinese, a U.S. passport for baby remains a powerful lure.
What can $14,750 buy you in modern China? Not a Tiffany diamond or a mini-sedan, say Robert Zhou and Daisy Chao. But for that price, they guarantee you something more lasting, with unquestioned future benefits: a U.S. passport and citizenship for your new baby.

Zhou and Chao, a husband and wife from Taiwan who now live in Shanghai, run one of China's oldest and most successful consultancies helping well-heeled expectant Chinese mothers travel to the United States to give birth.

The couple's service, outlined in a PowerPoint presentation, includes connecting the expectant mothers with one of three Chinese-owned "baby care centers" in California. For the $14,750 basic fee, Zhou and Chao will arrange for a three-month stay in a center -- two months before the birth and a month after. A room with cable TV and a wireless Internet connection, plus three meals, starts at $35 a day. The doctors and staff all speak Chinese. There are shopping and sightseeing trips.

The mothers must pay their own airfare and are responsible for getting a U.S. visa, although Zhou and Chao will help them fill out the application form.
And it's all legal! Anyone born on U.S. soil has the right to citizenship, and indeed, it is not a crime to travel to the United States to give birth so that your child can have U.S. citizenship. So I guess it's not surprising at all that "Birth tourism" would emerge as an industry in China. And business is booming.

angry archive