Chinese 'birth tourism' on the rise

10:31, September 17, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Many young white collars are choosing to have their babies outside of China, in the aim of giving the kids a better quality of life and better educational opportunities.

Zhang Li and his wife have been living in Beijing for the past five years. They own a home and cars but have not obtained Beijing Household status, which is integral to providing education for their children in the future.

"Hong Kong residency is much cheaper than Beijing residency," Zhang Li said. He has just accompanied his wife to HK to deliver their baby.

In China, children's resident status must follow that of their parents. Status is a key factor in the national educational system and affects tuition and eligibility.

Zhang finally choose to deliver the baby in HK. Although it is not encouraged for Chinese mainlanders to give birth on the island, the law does allow it.

In 2009, roughly 29,766 babies were born in HK to mainland families. This means that out of 10 babies born that year, four were from such families, the Southern Weekend reports.

Many parents have also chosen to give birth in the U.S. and Canada, although there are no official statistics showing how many have actually done this. There are a number of companies that help Chinese nationals give birth on U.S. soil. One of such companies says that it receives over 200 applicants from Chinese parents each year, and that there are hundreds of similar American agencies, the weekly newspaper reports.

Many of those who choose to participate in this increasing trend of giving birth outside of China are not eligible to emigrate for various reasons. The majority were born in the 80's and are highly educated and want their children to have different lives.

Effective from February 2007, the Hong Kong government has implemented a service fee of 39, 000 yuan (5,799 dollars) on "unqualified" patients who stay in public hospital delivery rooms. Until now, this has been the biggest obstacle for people like Zhang Li, but is relatively easy to overcome.

Some see providing their children with HK or overseas citizenship as the best gift they can give to their kids. Traveling with ease and better educational opportunities are among the reasons most often cited by parents who choose to do this.

In 2009, HK hospitals generated 150 million HKD (130 billion yuan, 19 billion dollars) from such "unqualified" patients.



  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
  • The romantic myth of the Aegean 
The Aegean Sea is between the Greece Peninsula and Asia Minor Peninsula, dotted with many beautiful scenery islands, like a paradise on earth.  The ancient city of Troy in the east coast of Aegean, Turkey, and Mycenaean sites in the west bank of Greece, which have been archaeological discoveries, now are the must visit places in journey of the Aegean Sea. Above, these desolate dilapidated stone, the sunny blue sky and white clouds and vessels roaming at sea, arriving and departing travellers, add more romantic to the sea and the islands.
  • Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Li Baodong (R) welcomes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the United States. Sept. 29, 2011. The Chinese permanent delegation to the UN held a reception on Thursday to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 40th anniversary of China's returning to the UN. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)
  • Chinese ambassador to Bulgaria Guo Yezhou delivers a speech during the reception in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, on Sept. 29, 2011. The Chinese Embassy in Bulgaria held a grand reception here on Thursday to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. (Xinhua/Wang Meng)
Hot Forum Discussion