Lured by US citizenship for their children, thousands of Chinese women give birth annually in the States, supporting a thriving birth-tourism industry.


Jiang Wenjun was getting ready to go to America. His wife, due to give birth to their son any day, was already there. Like any expectant parents, the Shanghai couple agonized over how best to prepare for the arrivaland upbringingof their firstborn child. American citizenship, they decided, was one of the finest gifts they could bestow. " America is the strongest country in the world," says Jiang, whose son was born just days after he eventually arrived in California this month. " We want our child to have the best future."


The US is one of the few nations where simply being born on its soil confers citizenship on a newborn. That policy has spawned a birth-tourism industry, in which pregnant foreigners flock to American hospitals to secure US passports for their babies. Although the foreign couple can't acquire US nationality themselves, once their American-born offspring turn 21 they can theoretically sponsor their parents for future US citizenship. Another perk: these American-born kids can take advantage of the US education system, even paying lower in-state fees for public universities, depending on where they were delivered. ( California is a popular birth-tourism destination because of its well-known university system.)

美国是少数几个在本土出生便拥有该国国籍的国家之一。正是由于这一政策,生育旅游产业应运而生,为了让孩子一出生就拥有美国国籍,他国孕妇纷纷奔向美国医院,即使这些妈妈们自己拿不到美国国籍,等子女一旦成长到 21岁,理论上也可支持父母申请美国国籍。美国产子的另一个好处是,这些美国出生的孩子能享受美国的教育,而且,公立大学只对本州学生收取非常少的学费。(加利福尼亚州由于其享誉全球的大学教育系统而成为生育旅游的圣地。

More rich Chinese than ever are sending their families and money abroad. One study of Chinese millionaires found that half had either emigrated or were thinking of doing so. Boston Consulting Group estimates that Chinese have some $450 billion stockpiled overseas. What's driving the exodus? Some wealthy citizens are spooked about the impact of an anticorruption campaign on their murkily sourced income. Others worry about the long-term risks of raising their kids in a polluted environment with dirty air, water and food. The pressure-cooker atmosphere of Chinese schools makes overseas schooling attractive. And even though China's draconian one-child policy is being loosened, some couples feel it's easier to give birth overseas and circumvent meddling by Chinese family-planning bureaucrats.

现在,比以往任何时期都多的中国富人选择把家庭以及财产安顿到国外。一项针对中国富翁的调查显示,其中有一半要么已经移民,要么正正有此意。波士顿咨询公司( BCG)估计,中国人约有 4500亿美金的海外储蓄。是什么导致资产的大量外流呢?很多富人担忧国内的反贪污运动会波及到自己的灰色收入。其他的一些是担心国内空气,水以及食物污染会给孩子的健康成长带来危害。另外,中国高压锅式的教育环境使在国外求学变得更有吸引力。而且,即使中国的独生子女制度已经不那么严苛,很多夫妻仍认为到国外生子是规避与计划生育官僚纠缠的更简单的方式。

All of which has led to a proliferation of so-called anchor babies. At least 10,000 such Chinese babies were born in America last year, according to an estimate by an online platform dedicated to monitoring and rating confinement centers for Chinese women giving birth in the States. Naturally, a thriving business catering to these tiny foreign passport holders has developed. The Jia Mei Canadian and American Baby Counseling Services Center, with offices across China, charges between $30,000 and $40,000 to women who want to deliver babies in the States. The fee includes a plane ticket, accommodation in Los Angeles or Chicago in a two - or three-bedroom apartment or house, plus all the citizenship paperwork for the newborn. Women spend two months in the US before delivery and one month postpartum. Nannies, drivers and a chef will be shared among three women, promises Jia Mei. Of course, Chinese-speaking doctors will be on call.

所有这些导致了所谓“锚孩子”的数量激增。据一家专门监控评估在美月子中心的网络平台估计,去年一年在美国出生的中国婴儿达到一万名,这些月子中心专为中国孕妇在美产子开设,自然而然,这一服务于能拿到美国护照的小婴儿的生意不断壮大。加美生子咨询服务中心就是这样一家机构,其分支遍布中国各地,服务费高达 3-4万美金。这一费用包括一张机票,在洛杉矶或是芝加哥的两或三居的住所,以及所有用于新生儿落户的文件。孕妇可从临盆前两个月住到产后一个月。该机构承诺,三个孕妇可共用保姆,司机以及厨师,而且有说中文的医生随时等待接诊。

Last month, Jia Mei, which has been in business for seven years, helped eight clients give birth in the US and another six in Canada, according to an employee surnamed Lu. The agency's extensive website features pictures of cheerful blond kidsthough it's not clear how the average Chinese couple will produce such a child. A 24 - hour online hotline allows clients in the US or China to write in with any question they might have. The agency even offers a primer on how the US welfare system works and recommends the best organic beauty products for pregnant Chinese staying in the States.

据一位姓陆的员工所讲,上个月,这家从事此行业已有七年的机构已成功帮助八名孕妇在美产子,六名在加产子。该机构网站上布满了可爱的黄头发宝宝的图片——尽管搞不明白中国夫妻怎么能生出黄头发宝宝。 24小时在线热线服务可及时解答在美或在中客户提出的问题。该机构甚至还为在美的中国孕妇提供介绍美国福利系统的读本以及向他们推荐最棒的有机美容产品。

Jiang and his wife, the Shanghai couple, didn't use an agency. An English-speaking sales manager, his wife simply procured a business visa to the USsomething she had successfully done beforeand set up camp in Rowland Heights, Calif. The L. A. County community, among others, has become notorious for a proliferation of" maternity hotels" for privileged expectant mothers from China. Jiang's wife has hired a nanny for her son and expects to return to Shanghai with the newborn in a month's time, after the US passport paperwork is completed.


China doesn't allow for dual citizenship, so American-born babies will have to procure Chinese residency through sometimes shady means. ( Yes, there are plenty of agencies that help with that task as well.) There are other catches. Eventually, young Americans, even those living abroad, are supposed to file tax returns and possibly pay taxes, something that's not widely known among many Chinese parents. Jia Mei's website, for instance, doesn't mention this potential financial obligation.


Jiang, 31, doesn't expect his son to return to America until he's in junior high school and can profit from the relative freedom of the US education system. But his wife has so enjoyed her time in California that she's considering adjusting their timetable. " My wife thinks the air in L. A. is very good, and the food safety is good," he says. " The weird thing is that many products are actually cheaper in America than in China. Maybe it makes sense for my son to live there sooner rather than later."

姜今年 31岁,他希望等到儿子上初中时再回美国,到时候享受美国相对自由的教育。然而他妻子非常喜欢加州的生活,并考虑更改此前的计划。“我妻子认为洛杉矶的空气质量非常好,食品安全也让人满意”,他说,“而且非常奇怪,许多商品都比国内便宜。也许应该让我儿子尽早在美国定居。