Childbirth in Miami: how Russian-speaking people come to the United States for citizenship - ForumDaily
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Childbirth in Miami: how Russian-speaking people come to the United States for citizenship

Maxim Sevryugin

A citizen of the United States and Russia Maxim Sevryugin, who was born in Miami, on his first photo shoot. Photo: Tulips Photography

“To get to Sunny Isles Beach, we will soon need a Russian visa,” says a Latin American taxi driver. Sunny is a Miami suburb with the largest presence of the Russian-speaking population in Florida (about ten percent according to the last census). In local media, it is sometimes called "little Moscow". It is for this reason that many Russian families who come to the southern state with the important goal of having a baby prefer to stay here. In this case, of course, one of the main factors when parents make decisions about going to the United States for childbirth is their children of American citizenship automatically received.

Sergey Sevryugin, an IT entrepreneur, told the Forum that he and his wife decided to give birth in the United States because of the current political situation in Russia.

“Our first child was born in Russia. At that time, the situation in the country was even more or less normal. When we learned that a second child would soon appear, the situation changed significantly: Crimea, sanctions. After that, I decided to remove everything that we have from Russia. We began to think about how to provide the child with a choice and a different future. We believe that we did the right thing. Perhaps in the near future to have a child born in the States will become some sort of stain. If it is completely unbearable, again we will change our place of residence, ”says Sergey.

“I have always been more a man of the world than a particular country, I worked in international companies, and Western values ​​are much closer to me than values ​​that are preached today by the Russian authorities. He has always believed that there is no confrontation at the level of ordinary citizens of Russia and America, but there is a policy that is dirty all over the world. At the level of propaganda in Russia, we hear that there [are in the West] enemies, they don’t like you there, it’s dangerous there, the father of the American child complains. - We, traveling across America and Europe, never noticed it. Everywhere we went, people happily perceived that we were from Russia. In our society, bitterness is being pumped, the press and television actually create the image of the enemy. ”

Passports of the USA and Russia

“With a US passport, the whole world is yours!” - this slogan can be found on the brochure that new citizens of the country receive. Photo: Raphael Apriam

Deputy "immunity"

The fact that obtaining citizenship is the key reason for giving birth in America is far from being recognized. This is especially true of public people, such as, for example, Russian deputies and civil servants. According to the leaders of one of the leading agencies for organizing births in Miami, this category accounts for almost half of their clientele. All these people prefer to remain incognito, given the difficulties in relations between Russia and the United States. Moreover, many Russian officials today are included in the US sanctions lists drawn up in the wake of the annexation of the Crimea and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“Somehow we were simply recommended to people, and these people turned out to be with a very high status in Russia,” says the creation of their agency, Ksenia Zolotareva. She gave birth in Miami, after which she decided to change the office in the Moscow travel agency to a new business in the USA. First, Xenia and her husband, Alex, were engaged in the paperwork for those who decided to give birth in Miami, then this service was added and full organization of childbirth for all comers.

“They called us and said:“ Pregnancy is 38 weeks, we arrive the day after tomorrow, we need a premium apartment and a doctor. If we begin to give birth at the exit of the aircraft, it is necessary that an ambulance comes for us. And a month later I have an important meeting, and we have to fly back. " And so we had to organize all this in two days. They doubted that we would be in time, but in the end got a tremendous experience. Now medical tourism is our business, we understand childbirth, all the subtleties and nuances of American medicine, we know all the pitfalls, ”says Xenia.

The main thing - at your own expense

The legal right to citizenship by birth (the so-called "soil principle") is enshrined in the 14 Amendment to the US Constitution. Stephen Camarota from the Washington-based Center for the Study of Immigration says that every year about forty thousand people come to the US through maternity tourism.

However, the tourists who come to give birth in the United States, local authorities are rather attentive and, one might say, wary. The main thing that interests them is the solvency of foreigners, that is, no one objects to commercial births. But if you decide to give birth for free, at the expense of American taxpayers, in the future entry into the United States you may be closed forever. The loss of the American government due to tourist-fraudsters, according to Kamarota, is about four hundred million dollars a year.

“They [the authorities] are not against people coming to the US to give birth, but there are many people from developing countries or third world countries who come here and give birth for free,” says Dr. Nabil Matar, who has been actively working with Russian patients for four years. - In addition, the stay of Russian citizens during the standard period (about six months) is also essential for the country's economy: renting an apartment, car, spending on shopping and so on. For American doctors, there are no restrictions on working with foreign patients if you have a license for legal activities. We are sending something like an invitation to patients from Russia with the date of the first visit. ”

Now, according to the American obstetrician-gynecologist, he has about fifteen to twenty patients from Russia every month. In Matar's office, which is decorated with various letters, you can see a lot of Russian souvenirs, and he himself says that he learned the most important words in his business, such as “heart”, “good”, “push”, “strongly” and “thank you” .

“Russian patients are very responsible, they closely monitor themselves during pregnancy. I was impressed with them, ”says Matar. - In addition, I noticed that for Russians, pregnancy and childbirth is a huge event in their lives, which cannot be said about American patients. Perhaps because women from Russia, most often, give birth to their first child after thirty years, and they usually have not so many children, rarely more than two. I can be mistaken, but I have such a picture, based on the age and marital status of my patients. ”

Online forum against intermediaries

Those who decide to give birth in the United States traditionally have a choice - to do everything on their own or to contact intermediary companies that are around 180 in Florida alone. Some of them resemble “one-day firms”, which operate until the first conflict case, after which they close instantly. Others overestimate the “price tag” so much that they scare away a client who is not ready to incur large expenses. Denys Prostokvashin, the creator of the popular online forum about childbirth in the United States, actively opposes mediation. He and his spouse Lyudmila, having given birth to a child in Miami, published on their website practically step by step instructions on how to independently organize the birth and arrange all the necessary documents for the newborn.

“There has never been any desire to“ foul up ”intermediary companies. They irritated the communication style and the level of service of the Miami brethren, - Denis explains the goals of his project. - It doesn't bother me how intermediaries treat us. We are not engaged in organizing childbirth either in Miami or in other US cities. We created a platform where users and vendors share information, including there are pages of about seventy intermediary companies, information about which is sent to us, or we periodically find updates in search engines.

I would see myself as a pest for their stagnant business at the start of 2000, but life is moving forward. I am glad that in the 2015 year, such a business style as the “wild market” has practically become a thing of the past, and the competition has grown into a qualitative stream ”.

On the “Delivery in USA” website, visitors themselves share information about doctors, hospitals, pediatricians, paperwork, renting apartments and other important components of childbirth in the USA. According to Prostokvashin, giving birth in Miami is no more expensive than in “favorite places” in Moscow, where commercial childbirth is practiced with a high level of organization and the latest equipment.

“I’m not sure that we have come up with some kind of new business model, but I believe that we have successfully realized the dream of many - to come to the USA and build a successful company from scratch in a couple of years, using modern technologies. We are engaged in what is interesting, and it brings some income, - says Denis. - The situation in Russia is indeed not the most favorable for childbirth in the United States, primarily because of geopolitics. However, I cannot say that in quantitative terms there were fewer visitors, the geography just changed. The vacated seats on airplanes in Miami were taken by Ukrainian, Kazakh and Belarusian mothers. ”

Fine in Russia and “unusual” names

Among those who were helped by the personal experience of Denis and Lyudmila are Alexander Abaeva, the wife of Russian football player Ilya Abaev, the goalkeeper of Moscow's Lokomotiv.

“Somehow there were circumstances around me that everything seemed to push for a trip to the USA. There were no political goals. It is not bad to get American citizenship for a child, but the main thing was the desire for some kind of adventure, my penchant for adventurism and climatic conditions - the baby will be born in Florida, on the ocean. Well, if the child subsequently has a choice regarding citizenship, this is only a plus. When everyone hears about Miami, they immediately think that it costs some crazy money. But for this, it is not necessary to be a millionaire, you just need to plan and calculate everything correctly, ”explains Alexandra.


Miami is a popular destination not only for Russian show business stars, but also for representatives of the sports world. The first-born of Lokomotiv Moscow football player Ilya Abaev and his wife Alexandra was born in Florida. Photo: from personal archive

From what struck her in the USA, Alexandra Abaeva calls the level of service at the hospital — that up to six people can be at birth next to her mother, and “without any hats and boot covers.” In addition, she notes the security system with bracelets on the baby’s leg, which locate the infant, and food, in which “everything in Russia is on the prohibited list for a nursing mother”.

Upon returning to Russia, as Alexandra tells, an administrative case was brought to her because she had failed to submit information about the second citizenship of the child at the wrong time. Since the summer of 2014, this is a mandatory procedure under Russian law (the notification must be filed no later than sixty days from the date of receipt of the document allowing to reside in the territory of a foreign state).

“It was necessary to pay a fine of five hundred rubles, but it was unpleasant that it brought up a real deal with a lot of pages. I did not feel any other negative moments on myself. When they find out that their son's name is Christian, many people are surprised, but I occasionally answer that where we live for half a year, the name Masha is also very unusual, so this is a question of the situation. I do not regret for a second about anything. Whatever the current situation between countries, if we have a second, I will come here, ”says Christian's mother.

Do not advertise the child’s citizenship

Moscow PR-consultant Elena Mints gave birth in Florida a year and a half ago, and now she admits that it is sometimes difficult for her to talk to her acquaintances who gave birth in Russia.

“I have absolutely positive and joyful impressions. For breakfast, and coffee, and tomatoes, and ice cream (which we absolutely cannot), sensitive attitude of the doctor and the hospital staff. And in Russia, according to the stories of the girls, sometimes no one is delivered, they don’t give me food for two days because of what is supposed to be a Caesarean. In addition, relatives are not allowed, but my husband was with me, and it was wonderful. Everything was not going very smoothly for me, but not a single negative memory of childbirth remained. I heard the condition in which some mothers were in Russia in a situation similar to my situation, and absolutely monstrous things happened. I'm glad that I went to America, ”says Elena.

According to Mintz, they try not to advertise the citizenship of their child among strangers and do not spread, unlike many parents, the American passport of the child in the social network. On the other hand, Elena does not notice any negativity towards American citizenship in her environment. She and her spouse perceive this passport as a pleasant bonus to the fact that they managed to “give birth to a child in normal conditions”.

“In Moscow, the last months of pregnancy would mostly have to be at home. Because of the reagent, you don’t walk much on the streets, and it’s just slippery. In America, I had a very active life: the ocean, the beach, walks, ”says Elena. - Despite the fact that not all costs were predictable, at that time there was a certain feeling of financial stability, which is not there now. In addition, savings and payments made in Russia covered some of the costs. "

Anna Sevryugin, for whom childbirth in the United States was second, said that everything in Russia was just as professional, despite the fact that medicine in general is not at such a high level. For her, the human factor is more important, since, for example, she was not very lucky with the staff in the American hospital. The nurse on duty did not approach the newborn for a long time and refused to perform certain procedures, referring to the fact that they were not within her competence.


Ksenia Gusarova (in the post-natal ward at a hospital in Miami) was very pleased with American medicine. Photo: Katerina Panova

“It was quite outrageous. You expect that they will come to you, they will prompt you and help you. In Moscow, everything was clear. In the morning bypass - all doctors, nurses, manipulations, and it was predictable. Here, almost every hour they have some kind of detour, but the nurse never came to us in half a day. She later apologized to our doctor, but not to us. The situation somehow slowly resolved itself, since there are very afraid of ships and all kinds of lawsuits, ”explains Sevryugin.

Expansion of Russian-speaking doctors

Another factor that bothered Anna was the lack of knowledge of English. For this reason, she chose a Russian-speaking doctor. Lev Kandinov moved to Miami from New Jersey, where he worked for more than ten years after graduating from an American medical school. It should be noted that in recent years, doctors who speak Russian are notably added in Florida: Albert Starikov, Alexander Birman, Mariana Bubucha, and others.

“In many other cities, including New York, not everything is arranged for the birth of newcomers,” Candinov said in an interview with the Forum. - If there is, the prices are much higher than in Miami. For example, a hospital in New York costs six to seven thousand dollars, and here it is twice cheaper. Housing, compared with the same New York or Los Angeles, is also much more economical. Given what is happening today with the ruble, people are considering various options. And the main advantage of Miami is financial. A system has already been established here: a doctor, childbirth, an anesthesiologist. In addition, hospitals are not much different from each other. "

Dr. Kandinov’s credo, he said, is a direct connection with patients who have his mobile phone number and the ability to call him at any time of the day. In addition, Kandinov has no restrictions on the number of receptions of up to eight weeks of the postpartum period.

“I try to work without intermediaries. My approach is to work with people directly to help clients personally. There are, of course, clients who come through agencies. The desire of people to give birth in America through intermediaries is dictated by fear and ignorance of the situation, Lev Kandinov believes. - Doctors in Russia tend to be scared in every way: it’s impossible, it’s impossible. As a rule, I immediately cancel most of the medicines with which women come here, except for vitamins. People are willing to spend their savings on the provision of high-quality medical services and on obtaining citizenship for an unborn child. ”

The struggle for the client is increasingly active, the prices are lower

However, the rapid depreciation of the ruble over the past months has significantly affected the number of Russians coming to give birth in the United States, which is also indicated by representatives of intermediary companies.

“Of course, there are concerns about Russia, because no one knows what will happen next. There were people who were going to come under the contract, but did not come precisely because of the dollar rate.

On paperwork there was a period when there were two times less appeals, - says the head of the agency Ksenia Zolotareva. - People tried to do everything on their own by any means, but, finding that a trip to Moscow for paperwork is more expensive, they came to us. We made big discounts, carried out various actions, reducing our profits to a minimum, in order to interest customers, because they simply did not exist. ”

When the number of companies involved in childbirth, is rapidly growing, many go to illegal actions. For example, Zolotareva explains that responsibility for childbirth cannot be included in a contract with a client, that is, to accept money for medical services — a doctor and a hospital — intermediaries are not entitled. In addition, some companies immediately issue two birth certificates (American and Russian) for a child instead of an apostille for an original, American certificate, or make a foreign passport for a child without obtaining Russian citizenship, after which people have problems returning to Russia.

“We specify everything in the contracts, starting from where we meet the client, what happens next, where we take him (to the doctor, to the shops and so on), what documents we have for the child. However, all Russians want to have the same detailed contract with the hospital and the doctor, but this is impossible, because in the US everything is a little different, says Zolotareva. - Contracts are made for the purchase of an apartment, a car, and for services - a regular invoice (invoice for payment), in which the doctor, for example, writes “taking birth in a natural way”, “anesthesia” and so on. No force majeure is recorded in this invoice, including the amount in case the child is born ahead of time. People from Russia do not understand what this piece of paper is and how it works. ”

Births in Miami in numbers

Despite the difficult economic situation in Russia, the Miami direction is still popular. People who often fly to Miami and back, say that on average there are five babies on average in each flight to Moscow.

“American citizenship is a visa-free entry to almost all countries of the world, the opportunity to use American education and all sorts of benefits,” said Yuri Mosha, a native of Kuban, who owns a large holding that provides immigration and visa services. - The USA is the strongest and richest country in the world. For now, anyway. Of course, a child with an American passport, when he becomes an adult, will be easier to realize himself. ”

Marianna, an 26-year-old Muscovite who gave birth in Florida two years ago, flew to Miami this summer to have a second child. Especially for the "Forum", she compared her costs for the first and second births in ruble equivalent. She was treated by the same doctor, but in different hospitals. In 2013, she paid 8500 $ for the Memorial Regional delivery (at that rate - about 290 thousand rubles), including the doctor's fee, and in 2015 for delivery at the Jackson North Hospital - 7000 $ (at the current rate - about 450 thousand). rubles). Registration of American and Russian documents for the child both times cost about a thousand dollars (34 thousand rubles in 2013 year, 65 thousand rubles - in 2015 year).

Separate graph - rent an apartment. Two years ago, first-line apartments in Miami Beach (one bedroom in the US, one-bedroom apartment by Russian standards) cost $ 8500 for five months (about 290 thousand rubles), and this year $ 8000 for four months (520 thousand rubles ) for an apartment in Sunny Isles on the second line. Apart from the cost of airfares, meals and additional expenses, a trip to 2013 cost at least six hundred thousand rubles, and this visit to Florida cost more than a million rubles.

Marianna from Moscow gave birth in Miami twice in two years and can compare travel budgets in 2013 year and now, after the rapid fall of the ruble. Photo: Tulips Photography

Commercial deliveries in the United States compared with those in Russia show a significant difference in some cases. For example, judging by the information on the website of the Perinatal Medical Center, which is popular among Moscow residents, the minimum cost of delivery at a private clinic in the capital is about 350 thousand rubles (managing pregnancy category A and the services of a doctor of the first group). However, the childbirth categories "luxury" or "VIP" will cost a million and a half million rubles, respectively.

However, the fate of the 14 Amendment to the US Constitution, as well as the possibility of Russians and other fans of “maternity tourism” visiting the States, is not clear. The Forum reported earlier on the plans of a potential presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Donald Trump go to court and to achieve recognition of the rule on the granting of citizenship to all those born in the United States unconstitutional.

However, according to the American rules, even the Supreme Court cannot recognize the amendment as unconstitutional, since it is an integral part of the Constitution itself. To change the basic law, a new amendment must be proposed by two thirds of senators and congressmen. It comes into force after approval by three-fourths of all states, and the president is not involved in this process.

In the U.S. sanctions pregnancy parturition Russians ruble Our people US citizenship Educational program Mama
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