Chinese women paying to give birth at 'California maternity mansion' to secure US citizenship for babies
An unassuming home at the top of a hill in California has been operating as a 'maternity mansion', charging Chinese women high prices to give birth in the United States, essentially buying American citizenship for their babies.
An address found on AsiamChild.com, a Chinese language website advertising the American birthing experience to prospective mothers, matches with the Chino Hills residence, where the maternity home is operating.
The website includes tips for mothers on how to hide their pregnancies from U.S. customs officers, so they can receive a visitor's visa.
Pregnant mothers are advised to wear a dark T-shirt and use a large backpack to cover their stomachs, according to advice on the website.
They are also told to not bring in any items specific to pregnant women and babies, in order to prevent suspicion.
Aside from citizenship, the website touts other perks American citizens enjoy, including free public education, better loan rates and social welfare during retirement.
According to ABC News, packages on the site range from 5,000 to 15,000 dollars, and call the expenditure a 'worthwhile investment' in order to have an American baby.
Neighbours in an upscale Chino Valley neighborhood are angry that a home is being used as a 'maternity hotel' attracting women from China to have their babies in the U.S., thus granting their children American citizenship, the report said.
"We are trying to get the word out that we are not going to condone this type of behavior and allow this type of business to come into our family-oriented community," Rossana Mitchell, a 22-year resident of the city and spokeswoman for Not In Chino Hills, a group that was formed in response to the "maternity mansion", said.
Authorities in Chino Hills began looking into the residence several months ago, after neighbours feared the numerous, heavily pregnant women they saw filtering in and out of the seven bed room home could be part of a human trafficking ring, the report added.
"It's so blatant and from doing my research, this is an epidemic and it's nationwide," Mitchell said, adding: "It's a way to buy citizenship. We don't want it here in Chino Hills."