Booming Industry Chain: Birth Tourism

Chinese mothers-to-be would pay up to 50,000 dollar to a birth tourism agency to deliver their babies in the U.S. Agencies help their clients usher through visa process, and provide pre and post natal services, and relevant documents including birth certificate. Nowadays, their services even grow to kid’s school entrance and household immigration when the “anchor baby” finally turn 21.

Babies ever born in the U.S. will automatically have U.S. citizenship. Reasons for people choosing birth tourism vary, but this is the first step to start their huge, long-term and ambitious plan. This matter can be dark in the shadows for the Americans, but this is pretty out in the open in China. One can easily find advertisement information online in China.

One TV news piece I watched online can be misleading and I would love to point it out. Well, now I am almost accustomed to the misleadings**.

Southern California is where the birth tourism agencies gathers*. Agencies provide services nearly from the cradle to the grave. Parents-to-be receives coaching and training ahead of time. One trick that most agencies would tell their customers is that do not enter U.S. from Los Angeles International Airport. That airport can be strict on visas. Las Vegas or Honolulu are better choices.

Unlike the case of Mexicans, mothers normally leave U.S. after delivery. Parents want to give their children another option just in case. Comparing with Chinese passport, the U.S. one is more valuable in their understanding. Another reason for this is because the one-child policy. In the policy, the kid who has another nationality won’t count.

Another widely concerned issue is whether this is legal to do. After brief research, I can just say there is no problem with the birth tourism itself, but it not good because mothers-to-be sometimes hide their real purpose for coming to the United States. There can be some potential misconduct at the agencies, including money laundry, taxes fraud and such.



*Southern California is so good a place that some corrupted government officer would hide their mistress there as well.

**The news piece I watch online is from “Born In The USA: Why Chinese ‘Birth Tourism’ Is Booming In California”

The guest reporter says one sentence which is definitely misleading and a bit offending to me. Regarding the fee birth tourism agencies is charging, she says “for wealth Chinese, that ($50,000) is not very much”. That is not always the case, OK!!! As an international student in the wealthy U.S, I am “suffering”. I am always on a very tight budget. I am NOT WEALTHY at all.


Author: Yue Zhang

Graduate student currently studying at University of Westminster, London. For my passion in storytelling, I am adventuring abroad to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s