RICHMOND, British Columbia — Melody Bai arrived in Vancouver from China in the late stages of pregnancy with one goal: to give birth to a Canadian baby.
不列颠哥伦比亚省列治文——麦勒蒂·白(Melody Bai)在怀孕后期从中国来到了温哥华,目的只有一个:生个加拿大宝宝。
Awaiting her was an elaborate ecosystem catering to pregnant women from China, including a spacious “baby house” where she spent four months, attended to by a Mandarin-speaking housekeeper.
等待她的,是一个迎合中国孕妇需求的完善生态系统,包括一座宽敞的育婴房,她在这里度过了四个月,有一位说中文的家政人员照料。
Caregivers offered free breast massages to promote lactation, outings to the mall, lectures on childbirth with other Chinese mothers-to-be and excursions for high tea.
看护人提供了催乳的免费胸部按摩、商场购物、和其他中国准妈妈一起听育婴讲座,以及忙里偷闲去喝个下午茶。
“It’s an investment in my child’s education,” Ms. Bai, a 28-year-old flight attendant, said by phone from Shanghai, months after returning to China with her newborn and passport in hand. “We chose Canada because of its better natural and social environment.”
“这是给孩子教育的投资,”在抱着新生宝宝、拿着护照回到中国几个月后,这位28岁的空乘从上海接受电话采访时说。“我们选择加拿大是由于它更好的自然和社会环境。”
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Ms. Bai is part of a growing phenomenon in Canada known as birth tourism, which is not only generating political opposition, but mobilizing self-appointed vigilantes determined to stop it.
白是加拿大日益增长的“生育旅游”现象的一部分,此现象不仅招致了政治上的反对,也招来了自发组织的纠察,执意要将其阻止。
It is perfectly legal.
它完全合法。
Under the principle of jus soli — the right of the soil — being born in Canada confers automatic citizenship. But as more pregnant women arrive each month to give birth, some Canadians are protesting that they are gaming the system, testing the limits of tolerance and debasing the notion of citizenship.
根据“属地主义原则”(Jus soli),即土地衍生的权利,出生在加拿大的婴儿会自动获得该国的公民权。但随着越来越多的孕妇每月前来生育,一些加拿大人抗议她们在利用这套系统,考验宽容的限度,贬低国民身份的概念。
凯莉·斯塔查克带头发起了反对生育旅游的请愿。
凯莉·斯塔查克带头发起了反对生育旅游的请愿。 Alana Paterson for The New York Times
In Richmond, a city outside Vancouver where about 53 percent of its roughly 200,000 residents are ethnic Chinese, nonresident mothers account for one in five births at the Richmond Hospital, the largest number of nonresident births of any hospital in the country, according to a recent report.
据近期一项报道,在列治文,五分之一的新生儿是非常住母亲在列治文医院生育的,为该国任何医院里非常住生育数量之最。列治文是温哥华外的小城,其20万左右的居民中约53%是华裔。
“Birth tourism may be legal, but it is unethical and unscrupulous,” said Joe Peschisolido, a Liberal member of Parliament in Richmond, who brought a petition against the practice to Ottawa, where the immigration minister, Ahmed Hussen, said he would examine the issue.
“生育旅游也许是合法的,但这是不道德和不择手段的,”列治文自由党议员苏立道(Joe Peschisolido)说。他将一封反对该做法的请愿信交给了渥太华,那里的移民部长艾哈迈德·胡森(Ahmed Hussen)说,他会调查此事。
The practice underlines how Canada, and British Columbia in particular, has become a favored haven for well-heeled Chinese seeking a refuge for wealth and kin away from authoritarian China.
这种做法突显出,对于寻找专制中国之外的财富和亲属避难所的中国富人而言,加拿大——特别是不列颠哥伦比亚省——已经成为一处受青睐的港湾。
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The issue of birthright citizenship gained global attention in October after President Trump said he wanted to eliminate it, though it is enshrined in the American Constitution.
10月,在特朗普总统说他想要废除出生公民权之后——虽然它已载入《美国宪法》——这一问题引起了全球关注。
At least 30 other countries, including Canada, Mexico and Brazil, grant automatic birthright citizenship. Others like Britain and Australia have tightened their laws by requiring that at least one parent be a citizen or permanent resident at the time of the child’s birth.
包括加拿大、墨西哥和巴西在内的至少30多个其它国家会自动授予出生公民权。英国和澳大利亚等国已要求在孩子出生时,父母至少有一人是其公民或永久居民,以此收紧了它们的法律。
Indicating that immigration could be an issue in federal elections next year in Canada, the opposition Conservative party this summer endorsed a nonbinding motion calling for unconditional birthright citizenship to be abolished.
去年夏天,加拿大反对党批准了一份不具约束力的动议,呼吁废除无条件的出生公民权,表明在今年的加拿大联邦选举中,移民可能会成为一项议题。
In the recent report, from the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Andrew Griffith, a former director general at the government department responsible for immigration, showed that the number of children born to nonresidents in Canada was at least five times as high as previously thought — close to 1,500 to 2,000 annually.
近期的报告中,来自公共政策研究院(Institute for Research on Public Policy)的加拿大前移民事务负责人安德鲁·格里菲斯(Andrew Griffith)指出,加拿大非常住居民生育的儿童数量,至少为先前预计的五倍之高——每年接近1500至2000例。
列治文位于温哥华市外,其20万左右的居民中亚裔约占71%。
列治文位于温哥华市外,其20万左右的居民中亚裔约占71%。 Alana Paterson for The New York Times
Mr. Griffith argues that Canada intended birthright citizenship for those who wanted to live in and contribute to the country. “Since those engaging in birth tourism have no or barely any real link to Canada,” he said, “the practice is challenging a very Canadian value of fair play.”
格里菲斯主张,加拿大的出生公民权是提供给那些想要生活在这里、并为这个国家作贡献的人。“既然那些参与生育旅游的人与加拿大没有或几乎没有任何真正的联系,”他说,“这种做法正在挑战一项极具加拿大特色的公平对待价值观。”
With its sprawling Chinese food markets, Chinese-language newspapers and large number of caregivers speaking Mandarin, Richmond has become ground zero for birth tourists from China.
庞大的中国食品超市、中文报纸以及大量会说中文的看护人——列治文已成为中国生育游客来这里的起点。
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About two dozen baby houses are in operation. Visits to about 15 addresses showed that some operate openly while others work under licenses as tour agencies or present themselves as holiday rentals. Some are in homes. Others are in apartments. Many are booked through agents and brokers in China.
运营中的育婴房有二十多个。经过对其中约15处的访问,发现一些是公开运营,一些则是用旅行社的牌照作业,或对外展示为度假出租屋。还有一些在民宅中。有的在公寓里。许多是通过中国的代理商和经纪人预订。
In a visit to one, the Baoma Inn, a modern house across from a park, a woman in the late stages of pregnancy could be seen in a second-floor window. A young man who answered the door confirmed that the inn was a baby house before another angrily slammed the door.
“宝妈栈”(Baoma Inn)是公园对面的一座现代房屋。在访问该处时,可以看到二楼窗户边有一位妊娠后期的女性。一位应门的年轻男子确认该客栈是一处育婴房,随后另一位气冲冲地摔上了门。
But during a telephone call in Mandarin inquiring about the Inn’s services, a man said it offered a one-stop package including “guaranteed appointments” with “the No. 1 obstetrician in British Columbia,” who spoke Mandarin and had “a zero accident rate.”
但在通过普通话致电询问该客栈的服务时,一名男子称其提供一站式服务,包括“保证预约到”“不列颠哥伦比亚省排名第一的产科医师,”医生会讲中文,而且是“零事故率”。
Customers usually stay for three months, he said, including one month after the birth, to allow time to apply for a passport for the newborn and to recuperate, as is the Chinese custom.
顾客通常待三个月,他说,包括产后一个月,以留出时间给新生儿申请护照,同时休养一段时间,这也是中国的习俗。
He added that his agency had seven sales offices in China. The bill for a three-month stay at a two-bedroom apartment, not including meals and prenatal care, is about 25,000 Canadian dollars ($18,331).
他补充说,他的代理机构在中国有七个销售处。在两居室公寓待三个月的费用约为2.5万加元(18331美元),餐食、产前保健不包括在内。
一项研究表明,列治文医院有五分之一的新生儿是非常住妈妈生育的。
一项研究表明,列治文医院有五分之一的新生儿是非常住妈妈生育的。 Alana Paterson for The New York Times
“The women all go back to China,” he said. “They don’t enjoy any social benefits from the Canadian government and don’t need it.”
“这些女性会回到中国,”他说。“她们不享受加拿大政府的任何社会福利,也不需要。”
Bob Huang, who with his wife runs Anxin Labour Service, a birthing center in the nearby city of Burnaby, said he was frequently contacted by agents in China who wanted a 50 percent commission on every successful referral. He said he preferred to post his own ads on local Chinese classifieds websites.
鲍勃·黄(Bob Huang)和妻子在附近城市本拿比开着一家叫安心分娩服务(Anxin Labour Service)的生育中心。他说经常有中国的代理商联系他,对方每介绍成功一单要收50%的佣金。他说他更喜欢在本地中文分类广告网站上自己发广告。
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Some Richmond residents say birth tourism is undermining the community’s social fabric.
一些列治文的居民说,生育旅游在破坏这个社区的社会结构。
Kerry Starchuk, a self-described “hockey mom” who spearheaded the petition championed by Mr. Peschisolido, documents baby houses in her neighborhood and passes the information on to the local news media and city officials.
自称“冰球妈妈”的凯莉·斯塔查克(Kerry Starchuk)带头发起了一项请愿,得到了苏立道的支持。她还对自己社区的育婴房作记录,并把信息发给本地新闻媒体和市政官员。
On a recent morning, she received an anonymous tip on Facebook that as many as 20 pregnant “birth tourists” from China were being housed in a nearby modernist high rise.
近期一个早晨,她在Facebook上收到一则匿名短消息,称有多达20名怀孕的中国“生育游客”正在被安置到附近一座现代风格的大厦内。
Rushing to her minivan, she drove to a parking garage beneath a Chinese supermarket. She then hurried outside to case out a nearby building, suspiciously eyeing a pregnant Chinese woman walking by. After entering the building, Ms. Starchuk was foiled by a locked stairwell, adding the high rise to her list for another day.
她立即冲向自己的小型面包车,开到了中国超市下面的一个停车库。然后她匆忙走到外面检查附近一座大楼,怀疑地看着一名路过的华人孕妇。进入大楼内后,斯塔查克被一段锁起来的楼梯井挡住了去路,随即把这座高楼加入清单,打算改日再来。
Ms. Starchuk complains that birth tourists bump local mothers from maternity wards, a concern echoed by some local nurses, and get access to public services without paying taxes.
斯塔查克抱怨说,生育游客把本地妈妈挤兑到了产科病房外,这一担忧得到了一些本地护士的呼应,此外她们还在不纳税的情况下获取公共服务。
She also said the so-called “anchor babies” threatened to burden Canada by emigrating and studying here, and sponsoring their parents to become permanent residents.
她还说,所谓的“锚宝宝”(anchor baby)恐将移民到此学习,还会帮助父母成为永久居民,从而给加拿大带来负担。
列治文一些第一、第二代移民说,生育游客是移民插队,有种不公平的优势。
列治文一些第一、第二代移民说,生育游客是移民插队,有种不公平的优势。 Alana Paterson for The New York Times
The issue has become conflated with resentment in the Vancouver area against soaring housing prices, which some residents blame on an influx of wealthy Chinese.
该议题还和温哥华地区对房价暴涨的怨愤混同起来,一些居民将其归咎于中国富人的大量涌入。
But Ms. Bai, who had her baby in Vancouver in February, said that given the hefty price she had paid to give birth here — 60,000 Canadian dollars, including housing and hospitalization — she was subsidizing the Canadian health care system and contributing to the local economy.
但二月份在温哥华生下宝宝的白说,鉴于她为在这里生育所付出的高昂代价——6万加元,包括住宿和住院治疗,她是在补贴加拿大保健系统,也在为当地经济作贡献。
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“My child won’t be enjoying any Canadian health benefits, as we are living in China,” she said.
“我的孩子不会享受任何加拿大保健福利,因为我们生活在中国,”她说。
Since her son is Canadian, however, she and her husband, a pilot, could save about 150,000 Canadian dollars on tuition fees at an international school in Shanghai.
但由于她的儿子是加拿大人,她和她的飞行员丈夫可以在上海的一所国际学校节省约15万加元的学费。
After gaining fluency in English and Western culture, her son could also later attend a Canadian university at the discounted local rate. Eventually, the entire family could emigrate to Canada.
在英语流利些,对西方文化熟悉些之后,她儿子将来还可以本地折扣价上一所加拿大的大学,全家人也可以移民到加拿大。
Some first- and second-generation immigrants oppose birth tourists for jumping the queue.
一些第一、第二代移民反对称,生育游客是在插队。
“I don’t think it is fair to come here, give birth and leave,” said Wendy Liu, a Richmond resident of 11 years, adding that she had been repeatedly harassed after Ms. Starchuk mistakenly put her house on a list of birth tourism centers.
“我不认为来到这里生孩子然后离开是公平的,”成为列治文居民11年的温蒂·刘(Wendy Liu)说。她还说,在斯塔查克误把她的房子放到生育旅游中心清单上之后,她频频遭到骚扰。
Birth tourism at Richmond Hospital recently came under the spotlight because of a so-called “million dollar baby.”
但列治文医院的生育旅游近期引起关注是由于所谓的“百万加元宝贝”(million dollar baby)。
A nonresident, Yan Xia, gave birth there, racked up a bill of 312,595 Canadian dollars in maternity and neonatal care for her newborn because of complications, and then absconded without paying the bill, according to a civil claim the hospital filed at British Columbia’s Supreme Court in April, six years after Ms. Xia gave birth.
根据该医院在生育六年之后向不列颠哥伦比亚省最高法院提起的民事诉讼,非常住居民夏燕(音译,Yan Xia)在这里生了孩子,因并发症接受产科治疗和新生儿保健服务,累计产生了312595加元费用,随后未付账单潜逃。
Including six years’ worth of interest, Ms. Xia’s bill would amount to about 1.2 million Canadian dollars.
加上六年的利息,夏的账单将达到约120万加元。