So my students wrote about this topic last year and luckily for you (insert a Kenrich groan, a Frederick comment, a Milica “WHAT!” a Tiya “noooo,” a Daniel “ooof!” and finished off with an Amelia, “Naniiiii!” I’m sure Hanna is probably thinking about what to say… and Lim, Mark & Arnav might use this chance to do their quick dance!
So here we go!
Yet again, this is another controversial topic which asks for the thoughts of you – and only you!
There is something that is continuing to happen a lot in our province happening in our province that has been stirring up a lot of hullabaloo. (I’m using this work because Lyiam, Brodie and Rohan from last year loved this word!) Have you ever heard of ‘birth tourism?’ Birth Tourism is when women travel to another country so that they can give birth to their baby in that country and gain citizenship. Example: If you were from Chocolatopia and came to Canada to have your child, they would automatically be Canadian not Chocolatopian anymore. Just to clarify, these women are NOT Canadian citizens. They come to Canada to purposefully have their child born here.
Well, why do people do this? If you are from a country that is less socio-economically developed (remember, we don’t use words like First World or Third World anymore!), why not have your child born in a country that will give them better living conditions? In fact, this child will get free public schooling, healthcare, other aid and eventually be able to sponsor their parents. This means that their parents can eventually become Canadian too. Sounds good, This is what some people are starting to think and are travelling to countries, especially: Hong Kong, the United States and Canada (top three for birth tourism).
Why do these women travel to these countries? Well nations like the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Tanzania and Fiji offer unconditional birthright citizenship. This means that if you are born in one of the above countries, you are now a citizen of that country.
To prevent birth tourism, countries like South Africa, New Zealand, France, Germany and the United Kingdom all have birthright citizenship with restrictions – that is, one parent must be a citizen of that country. Interestingly, India is one of the only nations that does not have birthright citizenship because of its large population.
What has come up now is that the number of non-Canadian women that are having babies in Canada is MUCH higher than what is recorded. For example, in 2016, 313 non-resident Canadian women said that they had their children here when in fact, 3,200 babies was more of a correct number.
Now think about it for a second. You know that your child could have a successful life if he/she/they were Canadian, wouldn’t you want to help your child in any way you could? But let’s also think about people who are trying to immigrate to Canada and have to wait so long to be reunited with their family or come here with their family. They have to go through lots of detailed paperwork and scans? How is it fair to them ?
You can read more on this article here:
So of course, it is time for you to weigh in. What are your thoughts about this issue? Do you agree or disagree with birth tourism, and why? Do you think that it is a big deal or is the media / government making us feel that it is? Please provide detailed responses of 15 (grade 5) – 20 (grade 6) sentences.