Friday, December 22, 2017

Would You Pay $50,000 So Your Baby Can Be Born In The USA?

See Saipan: The Island Where Chinese Mothers Deliver American Babies: Women looking to give birth to U.S. citizens have found a loophole in the Pacific on the island of Saipan. By Jon Emont of The WSJ.

Doing so is called "birth tourism." Saipan is a U.S. territory and is only a 4-5 hour flight from China. Excerpts:

"The Northern Marianas, an island chain that includes Saipan, is the only U.S. soil that Chinese can visit without a visa, after a change in immigration policy in 2009 allowed Chinese and Russian tourists visa-free entry for up to 45 days."

"The number of Chinese visitors has risen substantially since 2009 and now represents 36% of tourists to the island"

"The number of American babies born here to Chinese women who entered as tourists also climbed—to 472 last year from eight in 2009—according to the Northern Marianas government. Last year, for the first time, more Chinese tourists gave birth here than Americans."

"Chinese travel businesses offer competing packages to help Chinese mothers reach U.S. soil and provide them with lodging, hospital care and domestic help.

There is nothing illegal about birth tourism, provided the visitor has the funds to pay for required medical procedures and doesn’t intend to overstay"

"In China, websites advertising birth-tourism packages abound, with names such as, promising luxurious birth vacations to Saipan. The Chinese translator whose wife gave birth on Saipan said total costs can exceed $50,000.

“Everyone is feeling unsafe in China,” the father said, citing among other things the political crackdown under President Xi Jinping. “We will do anything for our kids.” The father still lives on Saipan with his wife and children, and fears they will be deported."

"Doctors and administrators said the surge in the number of Chinese mothers is overwhelming health facilities. “It’s a strain for the community,” said Esther Muna, CEO of government health provider Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, which runs the hospital."


Anonymous said...

As far as I know, birth tourism is not a new thing for Chinese women. There have been dozens of companies that provide service for birth tourism near LA. These companies have translators, houses, nutritionists and agents etc. for Chinese pregnant women.

Would you pay $50,000 so that your baby can be born in USA? My answer is Yes if I am still in China now.

1. A lot of Chinese believe American education is much better than Chinese. They want to send their kids to American schools. However, international tuition is too high to be affordable by an average Chinese family. Going to American school is usually a choice for only rich people. But when my kid has US citizen, I don’t need to pay such high tuition. Take an example of University of California, Davis, international tuition of 169,736 ($42,434*4) four years compared with California resident tuition of 57,680 ($14,420*4) four years. The difference of 112, 056 is much higher than the birth tourism of $50,000.

2. According to the American immigration law, I can apply for a permanent resident when my US citizen kid is at least 21 years old. It means that I will immigrate to America 21 years later after I deliver my kid. So I will enjoy my retired life in America. If I don’t have a kid with US nationality, I probably still will be in Beijing, the over crowded and heavily polluted city, after I am retired. Or try immigration by other ways that spend more money and time than birth tourism. $50,000 is very affordable for me to change my life for the better.

3. Some Chinese mothers worry about their American kids cannot be accepted by Chinese public school system (k12) with low tuition (less than $500 per semester) so that they have to pay high tuition (more than around $5,000) for their kids to go to international schools in China. Fortunately, in Beijing, a kid with a foreign nationality is allowed to enroll into local public schools if the kid’s parents are both Beijing residents. So my American kid can go to Chinese public schools to get good quality of k-12 education and get college-level American education with resident tuition. (I prefer k-12 education in China and college-level education in America.)

Cyril Morong said...

Very interesting points. They really add to the topic. Thanks for reading and commenting