Feds Crack Down on 'Maternity Tourism' But Should They?

While most women who are gearing up to give birth want to stay close to home and not travel, thousands of Chinese women are doing the exact opposite thanks to a massive "maternity tourism" business. The moms reportedly book trips to the U.S. around their due dates for the explicit purpose of giving birth in this country, and therefore securing their babies automatic U.S. citizenship. But before you get your knickers in a twist about "anchor babies" that will allow foreign families to suck the teet of the U.S. taxpayer, listen to why they're doing it.


Federal agents raided about 50 locations in California that were allegedly set up to house Chinese women awaiting birth. There are reportedly companies in China that advertise "maternity tourism" packages that moms can buy that will not only bring them to the U.S. to give birth -- but also give them the typical tourism experience by offering trips to Disneyworld and other touristy locations.

While you can't blame a mom for wanting to give her child a better life than he or she might have in China, apparently these are not poor moms toiling in the fields who want their kids to have access to better job, health, and education opportunities. These are reportedly wealthy Chinese who pay up to $60,000 for the trip, and who want their kids to have U.S. passports for a variety of reasons, one of which includes being able to escape sweeping anti-corruption laws in China that might mean a loss of status or income.

Others are worried that if China becomes politically or economically uncertain, they might be able to immigrate to the U.S. because of their American children. Hey, wouldn't it be nice if we could all flee to a better country when things got rough in our own?

One mom told CNN that she didn't want to give birth in the U.S. for the reasons we might think. She didn't want to come here to get government help. In fact, she is very wealthy. Instead, she wanted her child to have better educational opportunities like the ones provided here, and that having a U.S. passport would allow her child to attend exclusive boarding schools in Beijing.

If anything, these "anchor babies" contribute to the government, not bleed it. As U.S. citizens, they will now be liable for their fair share of taxes, whether or not they earn their income here.

So is this something we should even bother cracking down on? Yes, because U.S. citizenship is a privilege and an honor that many immigrants work extremely hard towards getting -- why should others get to jump the line because they are wealthy enough to afford this fraud? What about the people who desperately want to get here because they are fleeing wars, or are political prisoners? The country should be a haven for the persecuted, not the wealthy who want their kids to get into a top boarding school.

More from The Stir: Chinese Moms Birthing 'Anchor Babies' in the USA Are Good Mothers

You can't blame moms for wanting to give their kids the best life possible -- but you don't see U.S. moms flocking to France for its free preschool and inexpensive daycare. Though maybe we should try. Viva la France!

Do you think Chinese moms should be able to do this?


Image via Al Lloyd/Flickr

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