Birth Tourism Poses Major Problem For 2 California Hospitals
Tens of thousands of foreign couples visit the U.S. each year to have a child with American citizenship, and authorities say it is straining some hospital’s resources.
Foreign couples visiting the U.S. for the sole purpose of birthing a child with American citizenship are creating a burden on two Orange County hospitals, authorities say.
The little known practice, referred to as birth tourism, was the subject of affidavits last week as federal investigators probe three companies that help women come to the U.S. to have children, which is not illegal. Investigators are looking for fraud, misuse of visas and tax evasion, according to ocregister.com.
Authorities say Hoag Hospital and Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center have been favorites for birth tourism in recent years, estimating 400 such children were born in Fountain Valley. You Win USA Vacation Resort is one of the companies being investigated.
The affidavit also explained one family’s case. Hongbao Xu and Xiaojing Cao underpaid Fountain Valley by more than $24,000 for the birth of their child, despite having over $200,000 in their U.S. bank account, but about a month and a half after having their child they returned to China. Authorities also said some foreigners from poorer backgrounds don’t go through the tourist baby companies at all and arrive with nothing but a plane ticket.
The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that roughly 40,000 babies are born in the U.S. each year by parents who visited the country for the sole purpose of having a child with U.S. citizenship.