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USA: Getting In and Getting Out

January 29, 2013

USA Baby Care’s website is not hiding the fact that the company’s clients travel from China and Taiwan to give birth to an American baby.

“Congratulations! Arriving in the U.S. means you’ve already given your child a surefire ticket,” the site says in Chinese. “We guarantee that each baby can obtain a U.S. passport and related documents.”



The baby passport is just the beginning of a journey that will lead some of the children back to the United States to take advantage of free public schools and low-interest student loans, as the website notes. The whole family can eventually get in on the act when parents piggyback on the child’s citizenship and apply for a green card when the child turns 21.

USA Baby Care is one of hundreds of companies operating so-called maternity hotels tucked away in residential neighborhoods in Canada and the USA. Pregnant women from Chinese-speaking countries pay as much as $20,000 to stay in the facilities during the final months of pregnancy, then spend an additional month recuperating and awaiting the new baby’s passport.

Many of the hotels operate in violation of zoning laws, their locations known mainly to neighbors who observe the expectant mothers’ frequent comings and goings. The women typically travel on tourist visas and return home with their newborns, who will have the option of returning for schooling, sometimes while the parents remain in Asia. For some, giving birth in the U.S. and Canada staves off hefty fines under China’s one-child policy.


Birth tourism is not limited to Chinese and Taiwanese nationals. South Korean and Turkish mothers are also reported to pay thousands of dollars for package deals that include hotel rooms and assistance with the visa process. Others are opting for apartment complexes, where zoning codes are more flexible and rents are cheap enough to serve more clients.

Birth tourism is a lucrative outlet for hospitals and local doctors, all of whom typically take cash payments from the foreign mothers. A month’s stay at Chico, California, which advertises “five stand-alone villas of different styles,” ranges from about $2,500 to $4,200 for a pregnant woman, and as much as $6,300 after giving birth. The average stay at Chico can easily top $15,000, not including medical bills. Even so, a few months in a maternity hotel is a bargain compared with other means of obtaining U.S. citizenship, such as the EB-5 visa, which requires an immigrant to invest in an American business.

"When you compare it to investor immigrants who need $500,000 to $1 million, this is pretty cheap,” says USA Baby Care’s site.



While many foreigners are busy finding easy ways to get US citizenship, many Americans are busy ditching their US citizenship.

Tina Turner wanted out of the USA...so she ditched her US citizenship, gave up her US passport and became a Swiss citizen.

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