By LCR Contributor Barrell Rider
As the follies of the United States border security and immigration policy continue we have yet another byproduct, Chinese birthing centers. These birthing centers exist for the purpose of housing pregnant Chinese nationals for the birth of their babies. These babies are U.S. citizens from the time they leave the womb.
Many of these women obtain tourist visas and generally come to the U.S. for their third trimester. They are housed in these unlicensed, unregistered homes and often remain there for some time after the birth of their baby. This brings into question the safety and quality of their pre-natal care.
The women are restricted while living in the facilities and are often allowed to go outside only a few times a week. Discretion is key in the operation and success of these centers. Many are in residential neighborhoods and townhome complexes.
While tourism accounts for a big piece of state revenue, maternity tourism isn’t exactly what most of us think of when we see the commercials for Disneyland or Mammoth Mountain. Most of these birthing centers are located up and down the California coast.
Although many of the women return to China, they seek to later emigrate back to the U.S. with their child following their 21st birthday. The children will come back and receive education and healthcare subsidies should they so choose.
Because these U.S. born babies have U.S. citizenship, they are excluded from many Chinese government services regarding education, health care and housing. This increases the likelihood that the children will return to the United States upon turning 21, likely bringing their parents with them. Under Chinese law, dual citizenship is not allowed.
Once only available to the wealthy, the growth of maternity tourism and increase in facilities has opened the door for some middle class Chinese to get a slice of the pie.