Canada’s Richmond Hospital records birth tourist rise

 

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority's Richmond Hospital in Richmond, British Colombia is a key destination for Chinese birth tourists.

There has been a steady increase in the number of babies born to non-resident mothers at Richmond Hospital, to 384 in 2016-17 from 18 in 2010, with fees of over $6 million. Halfway through the 2017-18 fiscal year, there were 189 non-resident births.

Birth tourism accounts for 20% of its deliveries, which is believed to be the highest proportion in the province, and perhaps even in Canada. Richmond Hospital sent local women in labour to other hospitals when it is too busy.

Richmond has a number of ‘birth houses’ for pregnant and new mother Chinese women in the city, with many doctors and nurses who speak Cantonese or Mandarin, plus a variety of agents who charge high fees to make the arrangements for women wanting to have babies in Canada. The goal is the right for the child to have a Canadian passport.

The hospital expects foreigners to pay. Non-resident pregnant women who go to any hospital in British Colombia pay a deposit of $8,200 for a vaginal birth and $13,300 for a caesarean delivery. They also pay for hospital stays and other services.

Canada and the USA are two of only a few countries that offer citizenship to babies born in the country, regardless of the nationality of parents. In China, nationality is acquired upon birth only if one parent is a Chinese national, like policies in Australia and the UK.

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