Scores of BC birthing hostels advertised in China

By Amy Chen

Fancy advertisements for so called “birthing hostels” are luring pregnant women women from China to give birth to their babies on Canadian soil, promising the mothers a convenient, comfortable and healthy way to give their children Canadian citizenship.

We found hundreds of ads for package deals offered by birthing hostels on, China’s most popular classified site[1]

With names such as “Bei Bei Center”, “Red Maple Leaf” and “Angel Baby”, the services these hostels offer include: tourist visa for the mother, airport transfer, specially prepared meals, and customized prenatal care, a ride to the hospital with a translator “auntie”, postpartum care and all the paperwork for the child.

The business has become so sophisticated that some birth hostels even choose to incorporate in British Columbia, as is the case with “Icy Consulting Ltd.”[2]

Some even had elaborate websites highlighting all they had to offer.[3]

All the birthing hostels we found were in Richmond, BC, with some ads even referring to the Metro Vancouver city as a “Chinese City”.

Documents released under a Freedom of Information Act request show that BC’s Health ministry investigation unit is aware of the problem and cost the taxpayers $693,869.20 in the 2014-2015 fiscal year for unpaid hospital bills.[4]

Last year, a group of Canadian citizens launched an official House of Commons petition[5] asking the government to eliminate jus soli, or birthright citizenship, as means of stopping birth tourism.

“The practice of ‘Birth Tourism’ can be very costly to taxpayers since it is used to ensure that after the child reaches 18 years of age Canada’s education system can be used at a publicly subsidised cost, and he/she can sponsor his/her parents and many other family members, thus taking advantage of Canada’s public health system and social security programmes such as OAS and the GIS,” the petition read.

The government rejected the petition on the grounds that “while there may be instances of expectant mothers who are foreign nationals who travel to Canada to give birth, requiring that a parent be a citizen or permanent resident in order for their child to acquire citizenship through birth in Canada would represent a significant change to how Canadian citizenship is acquired.”

None of the birthing hostel operators we reached out to responded to our requests for comment.

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