Chinese “birth tourists” ditch California, go to New York instead

Since US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stepped up efforts to tighten inspections on pregnant Chinese visitors at Los Angeles International airport, many Chinese maternity tourists have changed t

Chinese “birth tourists” ditch California, go to New York instead

Since US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stepped up efforts to tighten inspections on pregnant Chinese visitors at Los Angeles International airport, many Chinese maternity tourists have changed their destination from California to New York.

The pregnant service market switch has given birth to a changing landscape of the industry in New York because of the influx of Chinese expecting moms. Brooklyn has become a new emerging focus because medical center there are believed to provide better services, according to a report of China News.

In fact, the majority of Chinese maternity tourists are from wealth families who hope to enjoy the best services in the US instead of seeking to government-sponsored welfare.

However, many maternity centers secretly apply for a “white card” for maternity tourists without their clients’ permission in order to make bigger profits. A “White card” allows one kind of the Medicaid plan that was created as an entitlement program providing medical coverage for low-income families including maternity costs for both the mom and the baby.

Such maternity centers could be easily found in Flushing, the northern-central region of the New York City, Borough of Queens who charge 100,000 yuan per person from clients then exploit the special status of pregnant clients to defraud social welfare.

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Even worse, Chinese clients have to pay for the centers’ illegal actions if the application is kept on a Chinese expectant moms’ record and could affect their future immigration application. Thus, a lot of Chinese maternity tourists move to Brooklyn.

At the same time, to avoid being tricked by maternity centers, many expectant moms turn to give birth on their own expenses, which means they need to pay for housing, clothing, food and travel fees, and personally cover all of their medical costs.

A maternity tourist from Hong Kong, a businesswoman whose company produces garbage processors, said at first her ideal destination was not Lutheran HealthCare in Brooklyn, but after she knew maternity centers in California would provide free medical costs for giving birth, she decides to move to Brooklyn.

Selina Chan, the administrative director of the Asian Services Center at Beth Israel Medical Center, said that they do not encourage maternity tourists to give birth in the US, but they won’t close their door on foreign pregnant women who can afford all of medical fees by themselves. Chan said in New York she has been seeing many more patients from China in recent years since California tightened inspections on maternity tourists.

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