Hit film triggers discussion on giving birth abroad
Updated: 2013-04-12 14:37
Tang Wei (R) and Wu Xiubo (L) attend a press conference for the premiere of the movie, Finding Mr. Right, in Shanghai, China, March 17, 2013. [Photo/icpress]
"Finding Mr. Right," a Chinese film that details a mother's journey to the United States to give birth in order to ensure US citizenship for her child, has not only scored big at the box office, but also exposed a growing trend among Chinese mothers-to-be.
"It is the first time for the phenomenon to be represented in film, indicating that the number of such mothers has grown so large that they can no longer be ignored," said Anna Wu, a consultant who helps expectant mothers travel to the US to give birth.
"Giving birth abroad is no longer a privilege reserved for the wealthy," Wu said, adding that an increasing number of middle-class women are considering giving birth outside of China in order to earn their children citizenship in the country of their choice.
A woman surnamed Liu said the film reminded her of her own experience giving birth abroad.
Liu said she was initially concerned about being unable to communicate with her caretakers in the US, but found upon arriving in California that there were multiple facilities designed to take care of pregnant Chinese women.
Liu said she went to the US to give birth in order to give her future second child the choice to be a US citizen.
The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution states that anyone born in the US is a US citizen and can obtain access to public education and vote, among other rights. After the child reaches the age of 21, his or her parents are permitted to apply for green cards and emigrate.
Xie Li recently returned from the US with his wife, who gave birth to their second child in the US.
Xie cited China's restrictive urban household registration and family planning policies, as well as its poor air and water quality, as reasons to give his child the option of becoming a US citizen.
"Having a child in the US will give him an extra choice in life," said Xie, who added that having a child in the US is much easier than immigrating.
Going to the US to give birth, as well as returning to China with the child, usually proves to be relatively easy.
Xie estimated that the total cost for his child will be around 50,000 US dollars, including airfare, medical costs and accommodation fees. He said he believes the costs are affordable.
However, a Shanghai resident surnamed Wu who gave birth to her own child in the US has encountered problems following her son's birth.
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