What Nationality is a Baby is Who’s Born in the Air?

Travel News — By christinegarvin on October 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

Even the best laid plans can go awry.

Recently a woman from the Philippines flew to see her sister in Boston, assuming she could wait to pop out her baby after arrival. Unfortunately the baby decided it wasn’t into waiting until the plane touched land. Four hours outside of San Francisco (while still in international waters) the bundle of joy appeared to what was no doubt a plane full of, cough, admirers and, cough, flight attendants trained in birthing babies. All we can say…YIKES.

Although this would be news by itself, the real drama is now¬†erupting¬†over what nationality the baby will be. Traditionally, nationality is given to the country of the mother’s origin if a baby is born over open waters, but sounds like the Filipino mama is fighting tooth and nail to get her baby American citizenship.

Image: Molechaser/Flickr

Back in 2006, a baby was born on a flight between Guadalajara, Mexico and Chicago. The ready-made jet-set baby arrived just an hour before landing at O’Hare International, though even when clearly in US territory, officials said the Mexican mother would have to apply for her baby to be considered an American citizen.

With the immigration issue so tricky these days, we can imagine it isn’t easy to get a foreign baby logged in as an American citizen with the whole “international waters” issue. Tip to mama – next time, you may want to set your flight to the US more than eight days before your baby is due. Cutting it a bit close!

Tags: baby born on plane, citizenship, immigration, international waters, Phillippines

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