The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many sectors, and this includes birth tourism in Richmond.
Richmond Hospital saw non-resident births drop from about 40 per month to an average of 10 per month in the first five months of the pandemic, a drop of about 75 per cent.
There were 57 babies born to non-resident mothers between April 1 and mid-September, according to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), who released the number in response to a Freedom of Information request.
In the previous 12 months (April 2019 to March 2020), there were 507 babies born to non-resident mothers at Richmond Hospital, which is about one-quarter of all births at the hospital.
During the first part of the pandemic, the number of babies born to non-residents was about eight per cent of all births.
Birth tourism falls under federal jurisdiction - Canada allows anyone born in the country to receive Canadian citizenship under a principle called “jus soli.”
Birth tourism is when women intentionally come to Canada to give birth in order to secure a Canadian passport for their child.