I feel this is like but here it goes:
Last year there was a very “funny romantic comedy” called From Beijing to Seattle, that based itself heavily on the rom-comn Sleepless in Seattle. It wasvery successful in the box office in China, BTW, here I think the showing was delayed, so everyone procured it from alternative media and the box office was good but not awesome if at all, as happens with most Chinese movies in Taiwan. Anyways, the story is about a woman who goes to have her lover’s son in the US.
Aside from trivializing the fact -and in spite of the handsome male protagonist, and being led my one of my favorite Chinese actresses- I did not like the movie at all. Too stiff. The hyper materialism of Chinese movies makes my skin crawl. But interestingly, they got most of the details right about the business of having kids in the US.
We Latinos are often looked down for the “anchor babies”, buit the level of organization that Asians, and particularly, Taiwanese have is really reamarkable. Driver to pick you up, alternative drop points, Chinese speaking doctors, special food delivered, the works.
Having the kid there was, for the protagonist, one more chip in the gamble with the married lover. Not only was she giving birth to a male kid, but also she was getting him a US passport. No one mentioned probably that the child would have alot of disadvantages as a single parent offspring, especially legal, in Beijing. So, in this case, it was presented as an advatanageous choice, when actually might have been a true escape.
Regarding Taiwanese people who do that, what I hear now is that they are following a trend. It is fashionable. Like the protagonist, it is something that gives them status, a step up the ladder. The sad issue, aside from the health risk and illegality, is the kind of head in clouds attitude. One of my colleagues was telling me the story of an, ehem, acquaintance. She is going next month to US to stay over to give birth to the kid there -due July I think. The family is doing well in Taiwan, both engineers, good salaries. The motivation? Everyone in her husband’s company is doing so.
Is it fear of China? The lack of opportunities here? the stagnation of salaries? The environment? Actually, the kid is seen as a tool, a real “anchor”. They are having him there so they can move to the States “later”. Plus they “have free public school”. Do they have family nearby, you know, in case you need them? She’s staying in California. Sure, they are near, there is one auntie in Indiana.
The birth and the stay is not cheap. But it is not as expensive as you would expect -a number was quoted that I am not repeating for obvious reasons. There was a time a lot of Taiwanese left for greener pastures, US has always been the goal but many fell in Latin America as a stepping stone, and that is how Icon came to meet many Taiwanese over there. This mini exodus business of borths in the US has been going on for way too many years, and the level of sophistication rivals that of the phone scam groups.