BROADCAST DATE : Jan 5, 2020

Passport babies: The growing shadow industry of birth tourism

The law says anyone born in Canada is automatically a Canadian citizen. Nearly 5,000 babies were born to non-residents of Canada in 2018-2019, according to the latest statistics. That's up about 15 per cent from the year before, and it continues to grow. The Fifth Estate investigates the shadow industry of "birth tourism" facilitating this growth; agencies that help women come to Canada just to have a baby and leave with a Canadian passport and all the privileges that come with it. The mothers pay $30,000 to $70,000 to travel from other countries, get coaching on getting through immigration, comfortable housing, access to top-notch doctors and hospital care in Canada. Host Erica Johnson digs into the impact of birth tourism on one city, Richmond B.C., and the implications for the health-care system.

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