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The Reverse Anchor Baby: Birth Tourism to Latin America for Gringos

There is a person out there right now.

Traveling great distances.

They come from another country with the intention of having a child in another.

The locals might even hate where he comes from.

Perhaps, in recent days, there's been too many of these people coming from "that place" to the new country.

They are not learning the local language.

They are not making local friends.

They live in their own communities.

And now they are having anchor babies here also.

Who am I speaking of?

No, not the Mexicans!

I'm speaking of gringos!

Birth Tourism to Latin America: The Reverse Anchor Baby

About a year ago, I remember being confronted by a woman who claimed that I got her pregnant.

As I wrote here, nothing ultimately happened with that.

Though some of my initial thoughts, as I wrote here, were mixed on the subject before the issue was resolved.

Obviously there was a question if it was actually mine or not.

Concerns also as I didn't know the chick well since we were just hooking up and didn't have anything serious.

But, on the flip side, I did occasionally "half joke" about the idea of the kid being "my anchor baby."

Where maybe I could even get Mexican citizenship with it.

To be honest, I would like to gain another citizenship down here in Latin America and that will happen someday.

And so having a child down here would resolve that and also, on a deeper level, it just seemed cool as fuck to be a dad.

Though, as I said, I did have my concerns about it being with her specifically as I didn't know the chick very well beyond fucking.

That was the first time though that I was really exposed to the idea of "birth tourism" as, out of curiosity, I began looking into the subject.

Gaining citizenship by having a child here and if other foreigners have done the same.

There are articles I found like this one here where one woman claimed to give birth in Mexico for the citizenship.

And apparently she has been doing this all over the world!

Here are some key quote:

"If you can get another passport, why not? Our kids automatically have 3 citizenships, but we decided why not give them the 4th one and get another citizenship for us. We started looking at which countries have the birthright which is pretty much almost entire Latin America, Tanzania, Canada and the US."

"Matt and I used to live in Mexico and have been debating buying a property for a while. However, it’s very difficult to get a property if you’re not Mexican as you technically cannot really own property – you can buy it but it’s more like leasing it.  

Plus, both parents and siblings can become citizens after just 2 years of having a residency. It felt like a no-brainer to us."

One of the other countries she has given birth in also in Poland.

On top of that, there are Youtube videos on birth tourism with some giving specifics on doing it in countries like Mexico or Argentina here (the Youtube channel behind these two videos seems to have a few more on for Brazil and Costa Rica that you can see here for those curious).

Including many other videos you can find on the internet like these here.

In the first video shown, it is argued that Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Puerto Rico are the best in Latin America for "birth tourism."

There is even a fucking website dedicated to "giving birth in Mexico" called "birth-in-Mexico" as you can see here.

On social media, there was also this Tweet I saw over a month ago that you can see here.

"The Baby Loophole"

Others would call it "birth tourism."

Regardless of the terms, that's effectively what it is.

A foreigner choosing to have a child born in another country for the benefits that come with that.

Those benefits could include citizenship and/or permanent residency but they can also include other things.

This article here gives some information on some of the medical reasons why some women specifically would choose to give birth or seek pregnancy treatment in other countries that also falls under "birth tourism:"

"Some women engage in birth tourism not to give their children a foreign citizenship, but because the other country has a better or cheaper medical system or allows procedures that are forbidden in the women's home countries (e.g. in-vitro fertilization, special tests on fetuses and embryos, or surrogacy)."

For those curious, here's an article by an American woman who claims she only would give birth in Mexico City due to some of the medical benefits and here's an article that serves as a guide for those who might want to go to Mexico for giving birth.

Though for purposes of this article, we'll be ignoring the medical reasons and focus briefly on the citizenship and/or permanent residency benefits of doing so.

And also some of the risks that might be applicable to your situation.

So let's move forward.

Where is Birth Tourism Allowed in the World

To keep it simple, we have this map here that gives us a basic idea of where you can do this and you can find the source for the map in this article here.

I do not own this image. It came from Wikimedia Commons.

All of the countries in dark blue are places where unconditional birthright citizenship is given to everyone born there.

On countries that are light blue is where birthright citizenship is allowed but with restrictions.

So, within Latin America, that's just Chile.

And, as you can see, Colombia and Cuba are not friendly to this.

The Dominican Republic also has issues that we will cover in a second.

Finally, it should be said that I'm not familiar with the laws of any of these countries in regards to how easy it would be for the child to give you permanent residency and/or citizenship in these countries.

At any rate, here's some more specific information for a few countries in Latin America from that last article cited.

For Mexico: "Mexicans who are citizens by birth are individuals that were born in Mexican territory regardless of parents' nationality or immigration status in Mexico. Individuals born on Mexican merchant or Navy ships or Mexican-registered aircraft, regardless of parents' nationality, are still considered Mexican citizens. Only naturalized Mexicans can lose their Mexican citizenship."

For Argentina: "Any person born in Argentine territory acquires Argentine citizenship at birth, excepting children of persons in the service of a foreign government (e.g. foreign diplomats). This can be also applied to people born in the Falkland Islands, a disputed territory between Argentina and the United Kingdom. Argentine citizens cannot renounce their Argentine citizenship."

For Brazil: "A person born in Brazil acquires Brazilian citizenship at birth, regardless of their parents' ancestry.[32] It is said Brazilian citizens cannot renounce their Brazilian citizenship, but it is possible to renounce it through a requirement made in the Brazilian consulate if they already have acquired another citizenship voluntarily. Foreign tourists, parents of a Brazilian child, may apply for permanent residency in Brazil based on their child's nationality."

For Chile: "As of 2019, for a child born in Chile to acquire Chilean citizenship at birth, it is necessary that the foreign mother or the foreign father be legally resident in Chile, previous to the date of birth. Also, children born of persons in the service of a foreign government (like foreign diplomats) are not Chileans."

For Paraguay: "Any person born in Paraguay territory acquires Paraguayan citizenship at birth. The only exception applies to children of persons in the service of a foreign government (like foreign diplomats)."

For the Dominican Republic: "The constitutional court of the Dominican Republic reaffirmed in TC 168-13 that children born in the Republic from individuals that were "in transit" are excluded from Dominican citizenship as per the Dominican Republic's constitution. The "in-transit" clause includes those individuals residing in the country without legal documentation, or with expired documentation. TC 168-13 also required the civil registry to be cleaned from abnormalities going as far back as 1929, when the "in-transit" clause was first put in place in the constitution. The Dominican government does not consider it a retroactive decision but only a reaffirmation of a clause that has been present in every revision of the Dominican constitution as far back as 1929."

So, as you can see, the Dominican Republic isn't very friendly either.

I'd imagine that their "in-transit" clause includes not just those on an expired tourism visa but also those who are living on a tourism visa and don't have official residency.

For Chile, obviously that country wouldn't work for that woman with the blog post about giving birth in Mexico given, if I had to guess, her man isn't Chilean.

If you are curious, you can look up also what the rules are about other Latin American countries but, as we have seen, the rest are pretty friendly to the child getting citizenship and, if I had to guess, probably to the foreign parent getting legal status but no guarantees on that.

Let's move on though to another issue you'd have to consider: giving your kid your citizenship.

The Risk of Statelessness & Your Child Not Getting Your Citizenship

For us Americans, we'd just assume that our child would get our citizenship no matter where they are born in the world.

That's probably true.

Never tried giving my citizenship to a child that was mine yet but I've heard of other gringos never having too much problem with that.

However, it can be a problem for some people depending on where you are from because not every country grants citizenship to someone who was not born there but who happens to have a parent from that country.

Now, to be fair, most of this issue seems to be people from regions like the Middle East, Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific. 

According to this article here, some of the countries where there are restrictions on a woman's ability to pass on citizenship to her child.

In such a scenario, it is possible for your child to literally be stateless or not have a specific nationality legally.

While most of those stateless cases are from those regions mentioned, it is apparently increasingly common for a few wealthier folks from places like Canada to face the same issue.

According to this article here, there was a case of a Canadian dad and a Algerian woman who had a child born in Brussels and who was actually stateless for a time because the child was not eligible for citizenship from Canada, Algeria and could not get citizenship in the EU initially because of restrictions there on birthright citizenship.

Interesting enough, there are apparently some restrictions on a Canadian's ability to pass on his citizenship to a child born outside of Canada as you can see from a quote here:

"Ian Goldring and his wife Yamina Guidoum, both 43-year-old consultants based in Brussels, were not aware their daughter Chloe would be stateless until after her birth last year in Belgium, where the family of three has been marooned since.

Goldring, who was raised in Canada after being born in Bermuda where his Canadian father was working as an accountant, cannot pass on his citizenship because Ottawa changed its laws in 2009 to limit nationality to one generation born abroad.  

And Guidoum was told that because she is a woman married to a foreign man, she cannot transmit her Algerian citizenship to a child born overseas. That leaves 16-month-old Chloe without a passport and her family confined to Belgium."

The article also doesn't clarify if their daughter ever did gain citizenship somewhere or just remained stateless. 

That same article also gives another example of a "stateless child" where the child has a Canadian dad and a Chinese mother that gave birth in Libya.

They were not married at the time of birth.

Therefore, Canada and China would not grant citizenship to the child due to the lack of marriage and they could not get Libyan citizenship for the child as Libya doesn't have birthright citizenship for the children of parents who are not Libyan citizens.

Though, in their case, they were able to get Irish citizenship through some family connection as you can see here:

"Rachel was stateless for 14 months until she acquired Irish nationality through her paternal grandfather, who was born in Ireland and emigrated to Canada four decades ago."

So, even if you have Canadian citizenship, you might not be able to pass that on depending on specific details like you can see above.

Such specific details could also be relevant for citizens of other countries like the US, those from the EU or elsewhere so you should probably look into that before attempting "birth tourism."

For most of us who were actually born in the country we have citizenship from, it probably won't be an issue though but just check to make sure ahead of time.

Similar to how any attempt to do "birth tourism" to Chile wouldn't work if the woman you do it with isn't Chilean.

Or how, like in the case of the DR (and perhaps other countries), you might not actually qualify and your child might not qualify if your own legal status in the country isn't already that of a resident.

Those specifics can make a big difference for plenty of people with their own life circumstances.

What is also interesting though is that this problem is apparently becoming increasingly common with more expats living abroad (especially as remote work becomes more common) and choosing to have children abroad as the last article stated here

"But Mark Manly, head of the statelessness unit at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said that gaps between national citizenship laws have put high-flying professionals around the globe in the same boat as migrants and refugees when it comes to getting passports for their kids. 

“Far more people live outside their country of nationality than before, and there are more children born to parents of different countries,” he said. “We have a lot of situations where the children are not acquiring any nationality at all.”  

Certain countries, including Switzerland, Japan and much of the European Union, do not confer citizenship automatically to babies born on their soil. In such places, expats whose own nationality cannot be transmitted abroad can find themselves with more than the usual dose of new-parent stress."

"The United Nations estimates there are 214 million people currently living outside of their home countries, a large number of whom are workers of child-bearing age.  

While it is hard to quantify how many professionals abroad are facing nationality trouble, International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy said citizenship laws were not designed for the international life that many professionals today are pursuing."

Though, as we return back to the Americas within the context of what I am writing, it should be clarified that, despite some of the legal rules for some countries in the Americas already mentioned (Chile, Canada, DR, Colombia), this issue of statelessness isn't as common within the Americas as the last article pointed out.

"Statelessness rarely arises as a problem in the Americas region, where babies are broadly eligible for citizenship of their country of birth under the legal principle of “jus soli.”

Above all, you'll probably be OK doing "birth tourism" in the Americas and likely won't face an issue like "statelessness" but, if your goal is to get citizenship for your own child and yourself, then you should be aware of how your specific circumstances work under the law.

Can always do your research by asking around other expats regarding their experience having a child in certain countries down here and, especially if you are a Canadian that wasn't born in Canada, then maybe that is something to keep in mind also.

Let's move on.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, I think it's very smart to do this. 

But there's a few things to say.

First, if I had never left the US before and was dating some Iowan chick who had never left either, I'd imagine that I'd have some serious challenges to convincing her to go live abroad for basically 5 years or however long it'd take from pregnancy to citizenship.

To be fair, most of the gringos who talk about life in Latin America on Twitter are, in my opinion, in a bit of a bubble.

Not referring to the one I cited but some of them I see online seem to have forgotten that a lot people back home are perfectly happy living there and/or have no desire to go live in some Latin American country.

And definitely not gain citizenship in another country.

I think part of the reason for that is because, to us, life abroad seems cool as fuck and most of the people we now hang with live abroad and think it's cool also.

And, over the years (be it a decade or more), you simply forget that most people wouldn't mind traveling abroad but definitely don't have it on their bucket list to become a Brazilian citizen (or a citizen of any other country).

So, for the average American back home, this is something they could engage in but I doubt most could even be persuaded to do so.

Second, having said that, if I was living in Iowa again and knew how much I prefer living abroad, I'd definitely consider trying to get any future children I had to gaining citizenship in another country (even if I had no plans on living there for the rest of my life).

After all, why wouldn't you want your kid to have a second citizenship?

That really can be helpful in many ways beyond some doomsday scenario where the US collapses like Venezuela and everyone scrambles to get out but only some can while others find challenges to escaping.

Even if the US didn't collapse like some people predict, just having that second passport can make travel abroad easier to some countries depending on which second passport it was.

While the US does have one of the most powerful passports, it does have limitations on travel to places like Russia, Iran, etc.

For .... uhhh ... those thinking of taking a vacation to Russia or Iran.

Or whatever other country and whatever other reason you might have for going to some country that limits travel from US citizens.

Which could always happen as I wrote here.

So, even if you aren't getting the citizenship or permanent residency (which, in most countries of the Americas, you probably will in most circumstances), at least your kid will have more options.

Which is also assuming you can afford it as not everyone back home in the US have the funds and/or a remote job to live in Mexico raising a child for 5 years or less until you get citizenship.

Third, what about the literal "anchor baby" scenario where someone comes here to have a child with a local (or another foreign woman except in the case of Chile) to gain citizenship for themselves personally?

Well, obviously I wouldn't encourage anyone to just breed a random bitch for the purposes of becoming legal.

After all, one could question how moral that situation is of bringing a child into this world literally just to become legal in another country.

Imagine that conversation in 18 years.

"Dad, why do I exist?"

"So I can become a Paraguayan."

Kinda funny actually. Almost worthy of being in a South Park episode.

Especially when you consider the financial cost and responsibility of having a child versus just figuring out another way to gain legal status.

For Paraguay specifically, that'd be even funnier if someone did that given you literally just need to drop 5000 in a bank, get a lawyer and handle some paperwork and whatever the hell else.

Still, assuming you actually love the chick and see a future with her, then I don't see an issue with you two having a child and then having it in the right country to gain legal status somewhere else.

After all, why the hell not?

If you were going to have a kid anyway, then I don't see a moral issue here. You're just optimizing the situation better to gain favorable legal status for yourself, your kid and possibly your wife or girlfriend.

Fourth, I've wondered also to what degree these gringos who do gain legal status this way have to pay taxes abroad.

It's a bit of a stereotype about us gringos that none of us pay taxes in the same way you have people back home who bitch about Mexicans not paying taxes.

Just another talking point by folks who, deep down, don't actually give a fuck about taxes but just want to bitch about a wave of outsiders coming in.

Which, as I referenced in the beginning of this article, you have had more gringos coming into Mexico and locals bitching about it.

And, like I said, some of the bitching is about the lack of taxes so many gringos don't pay.

On that point, it's only a question I have as I'm just curious: can they more easily avoid taxes gaining legal status this way?

Because if you gain residency through proof of income, then you have to prove your income.

I'd imagine that exposes you more to potentially getting chased by the Mexican government for taxes if they at least know the figure.

If you have a child here though, I'd wonder if they make you prove how much income you have before letting you have residency.

I have no idea but it's just a question I have out of curiosity.

Asking for a friend.

Fifth, my only piece of advice here is that, if you did have plans to engage in "birth tourism," then I'd recommend you get on it when you can.

I don't see most (or any) Latin American countries changing the laws against it anytime soon (if ever).

However, I was surprised to see so many videos online -- including professional ones from Nomad Capitalist -- giving advice on how to do this.

That would be cause for concern for me if I had plans on doing this because, as a broad rule, I generally see countries down here increasing the requirements needed for us gringos to move down here legally when 1) they get richer and 2) attract more tourists.

Like countries stopping people from doing visa runs for example.

If enough gringos were to ever engage in "birth tourism," then I could see the countries experiencing that to restrict future gringos from doing so.

Sixth, if your plan was to move to Latin America and then find a woman to have a child with (or bring a woman you are married to with you to give birth here), then I'd suggest you obviously weigh your options beyond just "which country is easier to pull this off?"

For example, as you can read here, you can't renounce your Argentine citizenship if you get it. Are you ready to have a life where you can't renounce this citizenship if needed?

"Unlike in most other nations, Argentine citizenship cannot be renounced and can only be revoked if obtained through criminal means. An Argentine passport must be renewed after five years for those under 18, or ten years for adults, and offers travel to approximately 170 countries and territories."

As you can read here, there is a military requirement in Brazil for men. Might not apply to you but perhaps your future child.

"Military service is compulsory for all Brazilian men, except clergymen. Brazilians living abroad must keep compliance with their military obligations from the age of 18 to 45. Male Brazilian nationals living abroad must enlist up to 30 June of the year they complete 18 years of age at their nearest Brazilian Consulate.Jul 19, 2022"

Obviously, taxes in each country is something to consider.

Paraguay and Uruguay are much friendlier in terms of taxes than Colombia.

Among many other things to consider.

Seventh, there are obviously some benefits to doing this compared to other ways to get residency.

For one, no need to invest in local property compared to that way of getting residency.

Certain requirements might be waived or lessened for citizenship like a language requirement or the time you have to wait to get citizenship.

So on and so on.

Eighth, in doing brief research for this article, I did come across multiple times the argument that those who do "birth tourism" from "the first world" to poorer countries like Mexico are doing something immoral.

Here's one example among others that I found arguing such a case.

Of course, there are differences between say the Mexican who goes to the US for "birth tourism" and the gringo who goes to Mexico for "birth tourism."

Obviously one has more opportunities, more money to make the trip, the trip is probably safer, has less visa restrictions to get into the other country, etc.

And, if we're being honest, I think that's part of the real, internal reasoning of the person who protests the man of the "first world" going to "the third world" to engage in "birth tourism."

That, because of privilege, we must not enjoy the benefits of such.

Which I think is a retarded argument. Just because life was easier for you doesn't mean you should sit back and let opportunities fly away.

And, outside of privilege, obviously the other issue I believe some have with this is that they don't like the idea of white gringos moving in.

You see the same when they bring up bullshit arguments that we know they don't care about to paint all gringos as bad because it's better optics to do that than saying "I don't people who aren't like me moving in."

Because, if we were to use the hospital argument that you see in the image above, we know that's bullshit too.

Your average gringo doing "birth tourism" isn't using the public hospitals.

His first world ass is using a private hospital for the lady that is giving birth to his child.

So don't bullshit us with the retard arguments if you are against this.

Save us the trouble, stop being a limp dick bitch and just say what is really bothering you.

Which is that you don't like foreigners moving in.

Finally, if your plans are to do this, you probably shouldn't admit to it on the internet.

Wait -- aren't you reading this on the internet?

While I'm guessing it hasn't gotten that one blogger woman into trouble, I could see it causing issues if the migration agency of the country found out and wanted to fuck with your legal status (which I would see as more realistic if you were a permanent resident and not a citizen yet).

At any rate, that's all I have to say.

It's an interesting idea and a bit funny also.

"The reverse anchor baby."

The gringos doing to Mexico and Latin America what Mexicans and other Latin Americans have been doing to the US for a long time and in greater numbers.

It reminds me of when US conservatives realized some Mexicans were bitching about the wave of US foreigners coming to Mexico recently and laughing online at Mexico for "getting a taste of their own medicine."

And now we gringos are dropping the anchor babies.

A taste of your own medicine. Right, Mexico?

Maybe, if time goes on enough, we gringos will have our own rock bands playing songs about the "gringo immigrant experience" south of the border too.

"Don't call me gringo 

You fuckin' beaner

Stay on your side

Of that goddamn river

Don't call me gringo

You beaner

No me digas beaner

Mr. Puñetero

Te sacaré un susto

Por racista y culero

No me llames frijolero

Pinche gringo puñetero"

Anyway, if you got anything to add, drop a comment below.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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