Monterey Park investigating maternity tourism operations

Monterey Park authorities are investigating a home that could serve as a ward for maternity tourists from Asia, according to the Pasadena Star-News. The centers, like one shut down in San Gabriel last week, allegedly provided care for babies and prenatal and postpartum to women intent upon providing their children with US citizenship.

The investigation is the fourth in recent months in Monterey Park, the Star-News is reporting. Thomas Reichhardt, Monterey Park's code enforcement officer, said city officials have shut down three other birthing centers which he believes catered to local Chinese women seeking traditional midwife services. Coming to the United States to have a child is not illegal, but many of these wards violate local building and business regulations.

Last week a maternity ward was shut down in San Gabriel, where Chinese women allegedly came to the United States in order to give birth and ensure their children would be American citizens. Clayton Anderson, manager of the San Gabriel Neighborhood Improvement Services, told the China News this was the first maternity ward discovered in San Gabriel. He added that city officials do not knock on doors to try to detect illegitimate operations, but will certainly take action if there’s a report.

The World Journal reported that Chinese agencies usually charge about $20,000 to $30,000 to help Chinese mothers have their babies born in the U.S., which is the same ammount authorities told the Pasadena Star-News. But maternity wards in Southern California have different costs based on the quality of service they provide. The cost of a bedroom with a king bed and a bathroom starts from $1,000 per month. Meals served to women after the delivery cost about $1,000 per month. Twenty-four hour care for newborns involves extra cost.


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