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briggi

Apr 24, 2013, 5:46 PM

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Having a Baby in Mexico

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Hi all!

Have just found this discussion board and, since I see it is an incredibly useful source of info, I thought I'd try my hand at asking a question which has been rattling around in my head for quite some time ;-)

I am a Brit currently living in the north of Mexico. I am in a relationship with a Mexican but we are not married, and we are expecting a baby in July.

We both work and make pretty good money (by Mexican standards, I don't even want to go into the pain I feel when I put my wages through a currency convertor pesos --- pounds, but it was my choice to come here!) and have done the whole pre-natal process so far using private doctors, labs etc.

The plan is to have the baby in a private hospital. Which one is still to be decided, as is the actual city where the baby will be born (where we will be living, where is family is, where the best facilities are etc etc are all things we are considering) but it will probably be in Hermosillo, Sonora.

So far, so straightforward, right? I am hoping this pregnancy will continue as smoothly as it has gone so far. I am also hoping they won't try to cajole, persuade, guilt-trip or force (!) me into having a caesarean. I am not against it if it is genuinely necessary for medical reasons, of course, but I am set on having a natural birth otherwise. I have been reading about "elective" CS rates in Mexico and it's astounding! Has anyone on here given birth 'naturally' (meaning vaginally, I guess, I won't even get into the drugs topic)? I would even be interested to hear about mothers who have given birth by CS here, too, all experiences are welcome! I honestly feel like I am feeling around in the dark here.

The other thing I am wondering about is this: the worst-case scenario. Of course I don't want to be thinking like this, but I have to consider that the baby (or I) may need further medical care after the actual birth. This is where financial worries start. I am from the UK where it would not even cross my mind. I honestly have much kinder sentiments toward the National Health Service now I am facing paying for all this stuff ;-) If - God forbid - either or both of us had to be in hospital for an extended period, we would struggle financially. No doubt both sets of parents would try to help us out, but neither of us are from rich families. I am starting to think more and more about IMSS.

I have worked in Mexico for three years. The first two years I paid taxes etc etc but I was never registered for IMSS by my employer (or they never sent me, guess I should have been a little more pro-active, right?) and this year I have only paid minimal taxes due to working fewer hours (I teach in private schools, all legal, my FM3 is good through February 2015 having just been renewed). I am going to leave my current job in May to move cities, prepare for the birth etc. I guess I won't work again until Jan 2014 at the earliest. I know I have not paid any contributions to IMSS so of course I don't expect them to treat me, and my partner and I are not married so I know I can't sneak in that way either. But is our child covered under that system?

Anyone who knows anything about this, or has personal experience, I would love to hear your thoughts! I know it is quite a specific situation but even conjecture or ideas of other places where I could get further info would be gratefully received!

Thanks in advance to any kind souls who respond. I know this is a bit of an epic read... I have a tendency toward rambling (duly curbed since living here and not being able to ramble quite to quite such prolific proportions in Spanish haha) so do forgive me!

Hope you're all having a good day!



Vichil

Apr 24, 2013, 7:53 PM

Post #2 of 21 (8489 views)

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Re: [briggi] Having a Baby in Mexico

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If you have not paid into any system you are not covered by anybody, you are on your own and you better have the money to pay for the delivery and the c section if you need one, If the clinic or hospital or partera do not think you have mone to throw away , do not worry about having an unnecessary c section but make sure your partner is with you or someone you trust who can pay and tell the doctor you have the money if you need it. You will be expected to pay the hospital as you go out otr maybe before. Have a clinic or hospital and a socotor at the ready in your new place.
Not having gotten into the system is pretty irresponsible if you are going to have a baby. It happened to me in the US, the baby was prematured, ended up for two weeks in intensive care and I had to work for a year with my slary going all to the doctors. It is cheaper in Mexico but I hope you have some money stashed away.
I hope everything goes well for you. All the best and get covered asap.

Check with your partner if the baby can be covered under his IMSS and maybe you. You are not married but you maybe able to be considered his comon law wife. Ask him to check.


briggi

Apr 24, 2013, 8:19 PM

Post #3 of 21 (8480 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Having a Baby in Mexico

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You are absolutely right, and I realise it wasn't the most responsible thing, but I didn't even plan on staying here for 3 years... let alone having a baby and starting a family here. I am not so worried about finances for right now, we have the money saved already for the birth, doctors etc and for life after baby when I won't be working. I am just wondering in the future (short, medium and long-term after he is born) whether our child is covered because he is - of course - "a Mexican" and a child, which has nothing to do with whether or not I have contributed. Or maybe I am wrong on that!? I hope we will never need to use IMSS because where we are going to be living it isn't particularly lauded, but you never know in this life...

Thank you for your advice, I will definitely ask my partner to check it all out. We just have so much going on lately I was hoping for a shortcut i.e. someone else's experiences. Hopefully all will go well, thanks for your well wishes too :-)

I guess maybe getting married is the key to an easier life! Though the pile of paperwork needed for that is a whole other set of questions....


esperanza

Apr 25, 2013, 5:52 AM

Post #4 of 21 (8459 views)

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Re: [briggi] Having a Baby in Mexico

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No one is ever covered 'automatically' for IMSS or any other insurance. It's not a free national healthcare system, it's inexpensive insurance. Your baby will have to be enrolled in that system just like everyone else who chooses it. You can read about all of the requirements and fees on the IMSS website: http://www.imss.gob.mx/Pages/default.aspx.

Another program you might be eligible for is Seguro Popular. Investigate, it might even at this late date cover your baby's birth. Here's its website: http://www.seguro-popular.salud.gob.mx/.

Best wishes to you and your family!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Axixic


Apr 25, 2013, 8:05 AM

Post #5 of 21 (8440 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Having a Baby in Mexico

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She can sign up with Seguro Popular. It covers preexisting conditions like pregnancy. I wouldn't be thrilled with having a baby at the Hospital Civil in Guadalajara but maybe she can travel to San Miguel de Allende and give birth there at the new SP hospital.

The baby is automatically covered with SP if there are complications.


GringoCArlos

Apr 25, 2013, 5:39 PM

Post #6 of 21 (8394 views)

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Re: [briggi] Having a Baby in Mexico

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You will have to pay for your delivery costs, but the good news is that in the worst case scenario if there are big problems for either mother or child, you ARE covered despite what other people here say.

The government operates Hospitals del Niño y la Mujer for this reason. As the mother-to-be (married or not) of a new little Mexicano, if the baby or you have complications, you will be rushed to one of these hospitals. The care there is fantastic, but no visitors allowed other than the father as the whole place is basically an Intensive Care unit.

The care is free, but they only accept patients as transferred on an emergency basis from other hospitals. NO COST TO YOU (OK, maybe 20 pesos due at the end). Not sure of follow up or continuing costs if there are long term problems.

Here is one list of emergency obstetric hospitals in Sonora run by the government:
http://www.dgplades.salud.gob.mx/descargas/convenios_emergencias_obs/ceo_son.pdf


(This post was edited by GringoCArlos on Apr 25, 2013, 5:49 PM)


Intercasa

Apr 25, 2013, 10:24 PM

Post #7 of 21 (8359 views)

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Re: [briggi] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Hi, congrats. To register your baby you will need an apostilled copy of your birth certificate as well as a translation so you may want to start gathering those documents.
Mexican licensed attorney (Cédula #7928026) and official court translator (Perito Traductor). Mx 376-765-7553, USA 805-683-4848


briggi

Apr 25, 2013, 11:00 PM

Post #8 of 21 (8351 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Thanks esperanza for that info, I am going to look into Seguro Popular just so I am better-informed about it. (As you may have guessed) I am not terribly well-informed about any of this stuff. The people I know whom I have thought of asking are equally uninformed as they are all Americans and the few of them who have had babies during their time in Mexico have always gone back to the States for the birth etc. As for my boyfriend and his circle of family and friends, they know about their own rights and allowances but aren't exactly bursting with information about how it applies (or doesn't) to foreigners in the country.

Axixic - thank you for the confirmation. Like I said I know very little about public healthcare here so it's good to hear from people who do know more than I do!

GringoCArlos - that information was so helpful, and reassuring. Like I said before I am hoping I will not need any of this information when it comes to the time for baby's birth etc, but of course I should know all of these things. The list of doctors has been saved and I am going to talk seriously with my boyfriend about this when he arrives for the weekend tomorrow. Maybe he knows all these things - about Hospitals del Niño/la Mujer - but he certainly hasn't mentioned them. He has been very fortunate (as have I) to never have needed any kind of urgent or ongoing medical care so far in his life, so I guess it is just something he has never had to consider until now.

Finally.... Intercasa, thank you for mentioning that. It is another aspect of this situation which has been circling around my mind (along with registering the baby with the British embassy etc etc, and of course that step comes first). I had read up about this and was aware that I need my own birth certificate in order to register our baby's birth. Fortunately I brought my apostilled birth certificate with me three years ago when I first came here, thinking I would need it for immigration (which I didn't, but seems it is now to come in useful). So I have it here (well it is a certified copy from the registrar because the original got lost in the sands of time) and it has been apostilled by the UK foreign office but... I don't have a translation of it. I contacted the British Embassy in D.F to ask about this a few weeks ago and have not received a reply.... who is able to translate it? Does it have to be a translator from a list provided by a certain government body or can I look for any translator? I would be so grateful if you could clarify that, as it is yet another doubt I have.

Again, thanks to all for your advice. It has been so helpful and reassuring (or has at least opened my eyes to what is available and what is not) and I am very grateful to you all for taking the time to respond to my questions and doubts!


Vichil

Apr 26, 2013, 6:19 AM

Post #9 of 21 (8336 views)

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Re: [briggi] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Ask you boy friend to find out who are the court certified translators in the state you love in and contact a translator or two to have them handy. It all dpends on who is asking for what but many departments in Mexico do not accept documents that are over 3 months old.
I just had to ask my sister to get me another birth certificate and have it apostilled for somethinc I need to do as the papers I have are a year old and not valid anylonger,,just like if a birth certificate was going to change...

Do not forget to register at the British consulate if you are not and register the baby so it is easy for him or her to be bi national.

Sounds all pretty eciting but lots of things to get done.


(This post was edited by Vichil on Apr 26, 2013, 6:24 AM)


AlanMexicali


Apr 26, 2013, 6:36 AM

Post #10 of 21 (8332 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Ask you boy friend to find out who are the court certified translators in the state you love in and contact a translator or two to have them handy. It all dpends on who is asking for what but many departments in Mexico do not accept documents that are over 3 months old.
I just had to ask my sister to get me another birth certificate and have it apostilled for somethinc I need to do as the papers I have are a year old and not valid anylonger,,just like if a birth certificate was going to change...

Do not forget to register at the British consulate if you are not and register the baby so it is easy for him or her to be bi national.

Sounds all pretty eciting but lots of things to get done.



When I went to the IMSS office recently to get a Numero de Seguridad Social they sent me to the UASLP Centro de Idiomes to get an official Spanish translation of my birth certificate. It costs $150.00 pesos and took 2 hours. Alan


Vichil

Apr 26, 2013, 7:26 AM

Post #11 of 21 (8319 views)

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Re: [AlanMexicali] Having a Baby in Mexico

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yes local university is a good place too.


esperanza

Apr 26, 2013, 8:00 AM

Post #12 of 21 (8306 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Having a Baby in Mexico

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In Morelia, Michoacán, the state offers free perito (certified expert) translation service. Judy had had a document translated in Morelia, but when she needed that same already-translated document in Mexico City, it was not acceptable--because it had not been translated IN Mexico City. We took it to a recommended perito in the DF who simply copied the document without the Michoacán guy's letterhead, added his own DF letterhead, and bingo. Done. 150 pesos. Sheesh.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









AlanMexicali


Apr 26, 2013, 8:06 AM

Post #13 of 21 (8303 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Having a Baby in Mexico

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In Morelia, Michoacán, the state offers free perito (certified expert) translation service. Judy had had a document translated in Morelia, but when she needed that same already-translated document in Mexico City, it was not acceptable--because it had not been translated IN Mexico City. We took it to a recommended perito in the DF who simply copied the document without the Michoacán guy's letterhead, added his own DF letterhead, and bingo. Done. 150 pesos. Sheesh.



Don´t you just love ever expanding bureaucracies in action. I lived through this type of thing with Canada´s changeover to a Social Democracy in the 60s and 70s. It did get more intense every year. I immigrated to the US.


Vichil

Apr 26, 2013, 7:32 PM

Post #14 of 21 (8243 views)

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Re: [AlanMexicali] Having a Baby in Mexico

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yes it is better to have documents translated by an approved court translater in the State you are asked for the papers, No doing so is giving them an excuse to send you back,,,


YucaLandia


Apr 26, 2013, 9:38 PM

Post #15 of 21 (8226 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Having a Baby in Mexico

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The approved translators can be in some odd places. Our State of Yucatan Registro Civil sends people to the Cultura Maya office (around the corner). It's free, but takes 1 to 3 days for them to get everything signed and approved.
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


briggi

Apr 28, 2013, 9:04 PM

Post #16 of 21 (8123 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Having a Baby in Mexico

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I have asked him to find out about translators who are approved in Sonora, and since I am moving back to the state in two weeks' time I am hopefully going to have plenty of time to get the translation done (providing baby doesn't make any unexpected early appearance). I hope they won't ask for a "new" birth certificate (well, copy) as that is just another pain... but of course if necessary it can be done. I have been fortunate so far - knock on wood - that all my documents (educational, personal etc) have been accepted here without problems. By immigration, SEP, for my driver's license etc etc. I'm hoping that will continue with my birth certificate and the issue of registering the baby. I spoke to a Canadian the other day who told me that when they registered (in D.F) they took their translated birth certificates and they weren't even required, they only wanted them if the couple wanted to put the grandparents' details on the document. Of course I am not taking that as evidence that I will get away so easily....

With regard to the British Consulate, I have looked into that (though I sent a personal email to them three weeks ago and haven't heard a peep... make of that what you will!) and seemingly it is not necessary to register "The Birth of a Citizen Abroad" unless you want to do it as a formality, as citizenship´will automatically be bestowed on my son through the fact that he is my son. Then when I go back to the UK - or even later, from here - I will just need his translated B.C and other documents in order to get him a passport. Of course this could be misinformation but it seems to be the way it works. Naturally the best thing would be to register him just to be safe, but at a cost of over 100 pounds for a piece of (supposedly unnecessary) paper, I am still debating it.

Thanks AlanMexicali for the verification. Are you - as your name suggests - in Mexicali? I have been living here for almost a year, though obviously am heading off to Sonora soon.

YucaLandia, I will be sure to find out the Registro Civil (of Sonora)'s approved translation service as soon as I get there. I have no doubt their suggestion could be something slightly eyebrow-raising, though I'm also pretty sure that any kind of "culutral" office in Sonora is just a figment of my culture-starved imagination ;-)


playaboy

Apr 30, 2013, 5:45 AM

Post #17 of 21 (8029 views)

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Re: [briggi] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Another point of view and something to think about.

Give your child one of the bests gift that you ever can. You only have one chance to do this.

Briggi, you are from England. The father is Mexican. You child will be Mexican and British where ever it is born.

Have your baby in the USA. Give your baby USA citizenship. Look at the lifelong advantages and benefits you child has by being Mexican, British, and American. Then go live your life as planned in Sonora.

You child, son, is now 18 years old. He is a genius, graduates at the top of class at his high school in Sonora. He wants to be a Dr. He receives a scholarship offers from Oxford and Harvard. Either one he chooses, he just gets off the plane, shows his passport and the immigration officer say "WELCOME HOME" No student visas needed, immediately eligible for government student loans and all the other benefits that citizens have.

I am not talking about an ANCHOR BABY and taking advantage of the system. You are not looking at living in the USA.

If you enter the USA LEGALLY during your 8 month pregnancy to visit friends and just happen to give birth so be it. In a couple of weeks you recover from childbirth, your baby is healthy and perfect and you go home and live your life in Sonora (with a USA birth certificate, passport and social security number for your baby).


Now you just do the bureaucrat paperwork shuffle to formalize Mexican and British citizenship.

Briggi, this is a gift you only have one chance to give.


GringoCArlos

Apr 30, 2013, 11:48 AM

Post #18 of 21 (7978 views)

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Re: [playaboy] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Playaboy, as a US taxpayer, I have to disagree. If the kid turns out to be a genius and Harvard then wants him, they'll give him a scholarship to fill their quota of foreign students and arrange for his legal entry to attend university.

As cheap as it is, she doesn't even have health insurance in Mexico. Does she have health insurance in the US? Are you expecting her to either fork out $5k-10k US for a complication-free birth there. or for her to just show up at a US hospital with contractions and for US taxpayers to pick up her tab??

Her kid would also then be on the hook to file and pay taxes to the US for the rest of their lifetime, even if they never spent a day there. Among working expats, it's well known that the absolute best situation is to hold a UK passport and not live there. No visas or taxes required.

Paying taxes to the US and receiving nothing in return pisses me off. Your suggestion pissed me off even more.


(This post was edited by GringoCArlos on Apr 30, 2013, 11:52 AM)


briggi

Apr 30, 2013, 4:00 PM

Post #19 of 21 (7937 views)

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Re: [playaboy] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Haha it's funny you should mention that as it has been a topic of conversation almost constantly during my pregnancy. Don't worry GringoCArlos it is not something I have considered even for a second.

It seems to be incredibly common for any Mexican "middle class" and above in Sonora to mosy on up to Tucson or Phoenix to have their baby. I taught in private schools in Sonora for two years and over 50% of those kids had been born north of the border. Obviously those parents are just trying to give their kids what they perceive to be a head start in life and I would never judge that... but, it is not for me.

This may sound elitist but my child is going to be a British Citizen and a Mexican and I feel like that is enough of a gift to him. An incidental gift, of course. He will be able to move freely around Europe and we will get him a US Visa - as his father and I have - when the time is right. If he wants to go to the US for study, work etc in the future we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Like I said, maybe it sounds elitist or snobby but, US citizenship doesn't hold a huge attraction for me. Maybe our child will hate me for that decision in the future, but it is something I will live with. His father is in agreement with me about it. As an individual I never travel to the US, despite having lived three minutes' walk from the border for over a year now. Another issue is that I wouldn't want to give birth in a country I had to sneak into to do so (meaning my motive would be sneaky, not that I would literally sneak in), and do so as a tourist. The thought makes me cringe.

However, I am not surprised at the suggestion and I understand why others do it. Especially if both parents are Mexican... having dual citizenship is attractive. Every single Mexican who has learned of my pregnancy has asked the same question and think my response is nuts.

If I were to decide that it was worthwhile then of course I could pay for it, just because I am someone who "doesn't even have Mexican insurance" (I don't know anyone who does, mainly because all of the ex-pats I am accquainted with are US citizens who maintain their insurance up there and travel back for any health-related issues, not an option for me really due to distance) doesn't mean I am a pauper ;-)

As for being a UK passport-holding ex-pat, it does have some disadvantages. You don't have to pay taxes in your absence, as such, but if you don't make voluntary contributions while you are away it is becoming hard to receive health care and other benefits on your return. Whether that is right or wrong is another issue, but it isn't a scott-free existence. Lots to consider at every turn.

The short answer is: my child will be Mexican and British and nothing else (by birth, anyway). A charming combination, I think.


playaboy

May 1, 2013, 2:13 PM

Post #20 of 21 (7872 views)

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Re: [briggi] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Fair or not, which side of a line one is born can make a tremendous difference in their lives.

Briggi, what a well written and very classy response to my post. I can tell you and your boyfriend have thought this thru.

Most of us participating on this board are well past thinking about starting families. (except Robt65 jaja)

It is different for the young in today’s world. With today’s instantaneous communication across the planet, all the possibilities in life are a click away. Even in the smallest pueblos, in the middle of the Yucatan jungle, there are phones, Sat TV, and internet. For all its bruises and warts, the USA is still considered by many the land of freedom, opportunity, milk and honey

Briggi pointed out that this is a very common dinner table topic for young 20's and 30's year old, middle class and up, Mexican couples planning their families. I have eaten at some of those dinner tables and participated in the table talk. It is not light conversation. It is more like if we could work it out, we would like to have our child born in the US. It doesn’t mean the family wants to live in the USA.

Briggi, I find it fascinating that 50% of your students were US born. I bet their parents entered the country legally and paid the costs for their births and medical too. The wealthy from Mexico have been planning for their children to be born in the USA for decades. Chapo sent his beauty queen wife to California to have his twins (do you think he paid cash?).

In the last 15 years the Mexican middle class has grown. They are educated and in a financial position where they have a chose. More and more are choosing to have their child born NOB and they are paying there own way.

This conversation is not only happening in Mexico. It is a worldwide conversation. The Chinese have a very active birth tourism business in the western USA and Canada. Google it for more info on that subject.

If you have a visa it is not illegal to enter the US pregnant. There is no law that says you can’t come into the country after your 6 month of pregnancy. You can be 3 months or 8 months along. There is no cut off date. If you are born in the USA you are a citizen.

The USA is spending billions of dollars building a wall. Walls between people never work. With families becoming more mixed nationally, I hope and truly believe that wall will someday melt away.


(This post was edited by playaboy on May 1, 2013, 3:47 PM)


alealm

May 11, 2013, 10:22 AM

Post #21 of 21 (7575 views)

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Re: [briggi] Having a Baby in Mexico

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Hello!! I am a Mexican married to a Brit hehe

Do you have private insurance?

I think you can get registered in IMSS even if you are not married but it takes a while so you should try to do it as soon as possible.

congrats and hope everything is good!
i live in mexico city if you want to know anything else we can meet up
cheers
Ale

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