San Gabriel, CA Shuts Down “Anchor Baby” Maternity Resorts
From the outside, they were typical Southern Californian townhouses with bright white walls and Spanish tile roofs.
But inside, a new kind of international business thrived -– maternity wards for wealthy expectant mothers from across the Pacific.
For a fee, Chinese women received room and board and a chance to deliver their babies in the United States and become mothers to instant U.S. citizens.
Southern California has become a hub for this growing phenomenon, known as birthing tourism.
One such business was busted earlier this month when code enforcement officials from the city of San Gabriel responded to a complaint about noise and an unusual number of pregnant women in a quiet Palm Avenue neighborhood.
When officials went to the location, they found about 10 mothers and seven newborns living in three townhouses that had been illegally converted into maternity wards.