Chinese women are traveling to America to give birth
Beijing - Wang Rong, who is six-months pregnant, is about to leave Beijing for California so she can give birth to her baby in the United States and give the child its first gift - US citizenship.
The special delivery will cost Wang and her husband, both white-collar workers in the capital, 100,000 yuan ($15,000), but they say it is money well spent.
The expenditure will cover all costs, including services before departure, medical care in the US and a three-month stay there, thanks to the help of a Shanghai-based agency that specializes in taking mainland moms to North America.
"Given the quality of educational resources and employment prospects in China, where there is a huge population and harsh competition, I want my baby to win at the starting line by obtaining US citizenship," she said.
Usually, parents use tourist visas to travel to the US when the pregnancy is in the sixth or seventh month. Typically, they stay for between three and six months, then return with their new arrivals.
Jiang said the agency trains couples to obtain visas and tells them how to handle themselves during US customs interviews.
"I got my visa, as they instructed, and insisted that I wanted to go to the US to travel when I faced the US customs officer," said Wang.
In rare cases, the customs officers might only grant a short stay, such as for one month, according to Jiang.
"But don't worry. The agency is actually experienced in handling that," he said, adding that it has contracted local lawyers who can help people apply for an extended period of stay. He said the waiting period such legal action buys, which is about four or five months, gives mothers enough time to have their babies.
Lockwood Young, a veteran doctor in Hawaii, said he has delivered babies to mothers from South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.
"I like my foreign customers very much because they are usually very nice and, more importantly, they always pay cash so I don't have to deal with the insurance company," he told China Daily.
Jiang said he expects things to continue as they are for the foreseeable future.
"The fact that the US might end citizenship by birth is not my top concern because it would take years to amend the law in such a democratic country which highly respects legal procedures and doesn't allow for a change overnight," he said.
Can you say "Anchor Babies"? As they say in the Navy, Anchors Away!