You might have read or heard things like you won’t get the same medical care, it is risky, or your experience with doctors won’t be comparable to your home country. There are both truths and lies about these statements, but the only way you can make up your own mind is by conducting your own research.
Reading online forums is a sure way to make you worry yourself into a frenzy. You might even find yourself believing the most common lies about having a baby overseas until you gather enough information from accurate sources and start fact-checking.
Let’s explore five of the biggest myths about having a baby overseas and the truth behind them.
5 Misconceptions About Having a Baby Overseas
Although news of safety issues and horror stories of women giving birth overseas are reaching an all-time high, the truth is that there are many advantages of having a baby overseas, and deciding to have your baby abroad is worth exploring.
A baby born overseas automatically has dual citizenship
Not exactly. If you’re an American citizen who gives birth overseas and your child is born in a foreign country, their citizenship will not be affected by the fact that you gave birth outside of the US. They will still be considered an American citizen with all the rights and privileges that come with it.
However, if you give birth in another country and then move back to the US with your children, they may face complications when obtaining visas or green cards. It mostly happens when they were not born in the US, depending on where you lived at the time.
For instance, if you give birth in Russia, you can use any of the common Russian names for girls, and your baby will get dual citizenship if one parent is a Russian citizen.
Most other countries require that parents undergo an application process to become citizens of their respective nations. For your child to become a citizen of another country, you must do more than give birth there. They must also live there for a certain amount before being eligible for dual citizenship.
No birth certificate for your baby
You’ll get your baby home and then worry about getting him a birth certificate. Or maybe you think that your baby won’t have a birth certificate at all. He might be able to use his US passport as identification instead. There are many ways to handle this, and it’s not as simple as it might seem at first glance.
Yes, your baby will have a birth certificate. If the birth takes place outside of an embassy or consulate, it may be issued by the country where you give birth instead of by the US embassy or consulate.
If the delivery takes place in the United States, but you choose to give birth abroad for medical reasons, then the baby will have both US and foreign documentation.
American parents can obtain one from the US embassy or consulate in the country where their child was born. It might take a few months, so if you want a document you can use as soon as possible, consider getting one from another country’s embassy instead.
No travel as you await your baby’s passport
If you’re planning to have a baby overseas, you may be wondering if it’s possible to travel back home after the baby is born without a passport. The short answer is yes. Everybody, including infants, must have a passport before traveling overseas. But if you are moving from the United States to Canada, any child below 16 can use their birth certificate to enter and exit.
Getting a passport in the US takes about six weeks; therefore, do not plan any travel in the first three months of your infant’s life. It’s pretty tricky to apply for a child’s passport, so make sure you take all the necessary documentation.
If possible, both parents should go with the baby or carry a notarized copy of one parent to avoid delays. Remember, you can expedite your passport process for an additional fee.
No support from neighbors
Having a baby in a new country might be daunting because you are away from your family. For instance, if you need help getting healthy foods during pregnancy, it might be more of a challenge in a foreign country.
But don’t worry, it’s a big community out there, and help is available everywhere. If you are relatively new, you can consider hiring nanny services.
One requirement of moving to the United States or any English-speaking country is the ability to speak and understand English. This will help you integrate with your immediate community.
Aim at making genuine friends, and you’ll notice that you’ll have many people willing to help post-delivery. Most moms form groups where they alternate looking after the children so that other moms can have a day to themselves; consider joining them if the invitation is extended.
No English-speaking doctors available abroad
Many ex-pats are surprised to learn that many doctors and hospitals in other countries speak English, and some medical professionals even have a limited grasp of the language. Many hospitals across Europe and Asia provide excellent healthcare services and have highly trained doctors who speak English. Many hospitals in these countries have been accredited by international accreditation bodies such as JCI (Joint Commission International).
There are over 6,000 English-speaking doctors in Spain alone, according to the British Medical Association (BMA). And while doctors may not always understand every word you say, they usually know enough about the English language that you can get your point across. In most cases, if you need help understanding what’s going on with your baby or how best to care for them, ask your translator or doctor to explain things in simple terms.
While many people will warn you against having a baby overseas, it’s important to remember that this is a personal decision. Whether preparing to have your baby overseas or wondering if you should, this information will help you make that decision for yourself.
This is not a complete guide on how to have a baby abroad for pregnant women. It’s meant to help you understand the biggest myths about having a baby overseas and the truth behind them.