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Playing host to a pregnant foreigner before and after giving birth has spawned a thriving industry in Passport Babies. Women, mainly from China, are exploiting a loophole in Canadian law that grants automatic citizenship to people born in this country. Many of these babies are seen as an insurance policy against uncertain times in Asia.
Reunification of families is encouraged in Canada and if one member is already a citizen, the way is much smoother.
Some of the foreign nationals may be seeking a way to circumvent the one child policy in effect for ethnic Han Chinese in the PRC, but for others the big draw is having an “anchor baby”. Those who come are not the poor and downtrodden. Costs for nondescript bed and board in Richmond average between $55 and $70 per day. Women are advised to enter Canada early in their pregnancies so that awkward questions about their requesting a visa are not asked.
"An undercover reporter for Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper said wealthy clients come predominantly from Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, and some are wives of high-ranking government officials." Source Toronto Sun
At this point there are only about 200 passport babies born to mothers in Richmond each year. Richmond has a high percentage of its population made up of people from Asia and the Indian sub-continent.
This relatively new phenonmenon is worrying to health care providers that speculate that a wave of expectant foreign mothers would overwhelm the local maternity facilities.
Richmond is part of Metro Vancouver.