Birth Tourism: LA’s ‘Maternity Hotels’ Enrage Residents, But Are They Illegal?
By Mark Johanson
Want your child to become a U.S. citizen? It’s simple: Become a “birth tourist,” your quick and easy short cut to the American Dream.
Hundreds (if not thousands) are in on the trick, booking monthlong stays at the so-called “maternity hotels” popping up with great frequency in the Los Angeles suburbs.
It’s a trend that, thus far, has flourished right under the nose of the law. But there’s a battle brewing in suburbia as outraged residents press Los Angeles County to take action and prevent their quiet streets from turning into maternity wards.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe called on the Board of Supervisors this week to crack down on the “hotels,” which are increasingly prevalent in the San Gabriel Valley.
“Across the United States, the recent trend in ‘birthing tourism’ has led to money-making schemes that put the health and safety of mothers and babies in jeopardy,” Knabe said. “We have had an increase in complaints from neighboring residents, concerned about the well-being of those in these homes, as well as concern about the quality of life in residential neighborhoods when these facilities are allowed to operate.”