I Love Miami TV presents a short video that touches on the phenomenon that locals see often: Russian mothers flocking to South Florida to give birth.
In Russia, a pregnancy is treated as a medical condition, not a natural occurrence. The healthcare is invasive and extensive, as compared to the simple ultrasound appointment that you receive in the United States. That’s why so many women are heading to Miami to give birth to their babies – and it’s completely legal! Sometimes American taxpayers foot the bill if foreigners give birth here as an emergency. Many Americans and lawmakers frown upon it, but the bottom line is that it is not illegal. Ultimately, these women are completely within their right to travel here, give birth, and return home. So long as they pay their dues and do not break any laws in the process, birth tourism is a popular and profitable occurrence.
Russian-native Kseniya Popova is what they call a ‘birth tourist’. She traveled over 6,000 miles across the country while almost 9-months pregnant with one goal in mind: giving birth in the United States. To them, it was the total package: good weather, great healthcare, and US citizenship for their child. Thousands of birth tourists come to this country every year with the intention of having their child here, which gives them access to a US Passport, citizenship, and all the “luxuries” that come along with it.
Marlene Markowitz, PA, an immigration and criminal defense attorney in South Florida, talks about the phenomenon and how birth tourists are essentially within their right as far as the law is concerned. Babies born in the United States are recognized as US Citizens, regardless of the citizenship status of their parents. As long as the birth tourists are honest about their intentions and return to Russia following the birth, no laws are being broken. Additionally, once the babies of birth tourists are 21 years of age, they can petition on behalf of their parents for US residency.
Agencies in South Florida are available to help these foreign parents settle down in Miami to give birth to their new child. Dozens of these exist in Miami, and they are completely legal, provided they don’t encourage their clients to commit fraud or any illegal dealings while in the country. The goal is to help the new parents find an apartment, a car, and an obstetrician. As long as the parents can prove that they will be returning to their native country by way of a return flight ticket or some other kind of proof, birth tourists are welcome to come and have their children in the United States. Typically, parents come the month before they are due, stay for a month or two following the delivery, and return home shortly after.