Lately I have been spending a lot of time in Rowland Heights and I noticed something: so so so many pregnant women of the Asian persuasion! Every time I went to Target or to the supermarket, I would see them walking through the stores shopping with medical masks. When driving down Colima Road, the main strip of the city, I would see them, 3 or more, walking up and down the street. I was so confused. Then I started seeing vans unloading pregnant women at the mall and local strip malls. I quickly had a Homer Simpson “DOH” moment and instead of talking about this phenomenon to anyone that would listen, I remembered that I had the answers to the world’s questions at my fingertips! I quickly googled “pregnant asian women rowland heights san gabriel valley” on my phone and voila! Here is what I learned:
Birth tourism is a cottage industry growing in southern California. Women, specifically Asian women, are paying tons of money to come to the United States to give birth. Còmo?So here is the thing: it is totally legal! There are no laws preventing pregnant woman to travel, so they come here through companies like Mother of American, set up shop in a “pregnancy hotel” and give birth.
Pregnancy “hotels,” I’ve learned, are usually in apartment complexes like the Pheasant Ridge in Rowland Heights or unassuming suburban homes that have been illegally converted into hotels. One such home was converted into a 17 room hotel!