Here’s why Vancouver’s first baby of 2023 won’t be in Canada for long [birth tourism]

Classic birth tourism example. The couple came to Canada because “we chose Canada because the Canadian passport is better.” They couple had enough money to travel to Canada and pay the non-resident fees but now given complications and the deteriorating economic situation in Egypt are encountering financial hardships (unlike more wealthy women who come to Canada to give birth and can afford birth tourism residences).

The other point of note is the naiveté of the couple in being so frank about their reasons for coming to Vancouver, and it is rare to have those coming for birth tourism to be interviewed and quoted. The reporter lack of awareness of the citizenship aspects and related issues is also of note:

Baby girl Hana Amr Fouad was born at 2:54 a.m. on January 1, 2023, in Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital, weighing in at nine pounds 1.5 ounces. But circumstances surrounding her birth are not typical of a new year’s baby.

Parents Salma Gasser and Amr Fouad flew to Vancouver from Cairo, Egypt “to give the baby this opportunity,” says her father.

They carefully considered the place of Hana’s birth and secured visas for both the U.S. and Canada but ultimately, “we chose Canada because the Canadian passport is better,” explains Fouad. However, things haven’t quite gone to plan.

For starters, baby Hana was over a week late.

Gasser, whose brother lives in Vancouver, arrived in Canada two months ago and Fouad arrived just under a month ago. This is the pair’s first time in Canada.

Hana’s due date was Dec. 17 and the couple pre-paid for a natural birth but in the end, Gasser needed a C-section.

Mother and baby are resting at home with the midwife but the delay and changed birth plan have caused complications for the family.

Fouad says that since arriving in Canada, Egypt has imposed strict limits on credit cards and the value of the Egyptian pound has been steadily depreciating, both of which are putting unanticipated financial strain on the couple. The hospital bill for a C-section is also higher than for a natural birth so the couple is facing an unexpectedly higher cost for Hana’s birth. 

“We are still trying to figure it out,” says Fouad.

The family is anxiously awaiting the birth certificate for baby Hana – which can take up to six weeks to be issued – and then plan to secure a Canadian passport for their daughter. They will be returning home to Egypt but have plans of coming back to B.C. in the future.

“We hear Vancouver is much nicer in the summer,” he says.

Source: Here’s why Vancouver’s first baby of 2023 won’t be in Canada for long

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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