GoKunming Forums

having a baby in kunming

culture (51 posts) • 0

is it difficult for foreigners? we are about to have a baby in April and there are so many questions we are having. as an american and my spouse is chinese, will the baby be considered chinese with chinese citizenship or american? which would be better since we are planning to live in kunming for a few good years before going to states in the future, and what are some of the other measurements should we consider before and after having the baby as a first time foreigner. thanks a lot parents!

tigertiger - moderator (5084 posts) • 0

This is more of a China issue than a Kunming issue. It would also be worth checking out other China forums.

You also need to check your wife's elligability to go to the States. This is not a given, even though you are married.

Does you wife have a Kunming HuKou? If not this will effect schooling, and may affect birthing. Currently I think only those with a Kunming HuKou are entitled to free state schooling in Kunming. We have a family member from outside Kunming, who has just bought a property in Kunming to obtain the HuKou, so that his son can attend a school in Kunming. There was also an article on this site a few weeks ago about access to hospital maternity care for non-Hukou-holders.

Quester (233 posts) • 0

You should check the details carefully with your consulate or embassy. It might be something like requiring the child's birth to be registered with the consulate within 30 days to qualify for foreign citizenship. That may be a challenge if your wife is a traditional person who believes that mothers should not leave the house or even wash their hair within the first month! But you might both feel that it is a greater advantage for the child to have US citizenship. It might be slightly inconvenient for the first few years while you live in Kunming. But if you can get a visa for yourself, then you can get one for your child. As for schooling, your child won't qualify for free schooling without Chinese hukou, but you should look into schooling options. I believe that unless your budget is a real problem, there are other choices for schooling in Kunming, which may even be preferable. I am not personally familiar with the standard of public schooling here, so perhaps someone else can address that issue.
As tigertiger mentioned, your wife's eligibility to go to the US is not given. Perhaps to have a child with US citizenship would further strengthen her chances. However if both your wife and child are Chinese citizens, having both of them wanting to apply to go to the US may be an extra hurdle.
I hope you can find some other Americans who have been through similar processes to give you some specific advice. Or at least to find a helpful consultant at your consulate!

culture (51 posts) • 0

yeah thanks guys for the info, she is from kunming and has the hukou so that is not a problem. I guess schooling may be the problem just in case if we decide to stay in kunming longer than planned and budget is also an issue if we can not find free chinese schools, that is why this is a dilemma, but I am leaning towards register my child as an american so it might be easier for my wife to apply for america in the future as it is not given, thanks again and i appreciate any extra info for kids raising in kunming.

Yelp1719 (16 posts) • 0

Am I the only one gobsmacked that you would even consider opting out of or even putting off U.S. citizenship for your child? You have five years to save/figure out how to pay for schooling in Kunming.

Geezer (1940 posts) • 0

Having had a few kids born outside the US, with a non-American wife, I think you are in for an interesting time.

You need to understand American law. My experience is more than 40 years old so I would be of no value. But I did sit with a consulate official who gave me a run down on US and local laws. He led me through the traps and pitfalls of both countries with great success.

I registered my kids and got them American passport but also had to get visas for them. I got all the paperwork and documents correct. Unfortunately, when applying for exit visas, I learned the country we were living in changed it's laws. It was a crazy few days and cost big bucks in bribes but we all got to the US.

The US Embassy Beijing website page for info on registering births:


Quester (233 posts) • 0

Glad to see there is some specific relevant info there provided by Mr Geezer. Maybe the registration doesn't have to be within the first month. And don't be daunted by the paperwork required by the embassy. It will all be worth it for your child's future.
As for schooling, just like anything with having kids, it all costs money. Like their health for example, we can't afford to count the pennies too much, we have to pay what we need to pay to make sure they have good medical treatment when required. Same for their education. That being said, there are a few private schooling options around town that would vary in cost, some hopefully within your budget.
Most importantly, don't forget if you want your child to enter the American education system in the future, they need to be getting at least some of their schooling in English, so that the transition will be manageable. But that doesn't mean you should overlook the advantages of some Mandarin instruction either. So I would suggest your best option is to look into the bi-lingual school situation, as there are some around.

YuantongsiYuantongsi (716 posts) • 0

The experience I have with three JV couples I know is that.

In your case the Child can be considered both American and Chinese by those governments, you can get an American passport if you want, or a Chinese one, if you can get the kid on your wives Hukou.
2. The Chinese PSB will not normally give your kid a visa in their American passport, as they consider the kid (Born in China to a Chinese parent) to be Chinese,,they don't recognize dual nationality. Even with a visa the border control will need to see an entry/Exit permit for a Child born in China to a Chinese.
3. Likewise the Americans will not (not sure 100% but this is the case for the UK and Oz) give your kid a USA visa in their Chinese passport if they consider the child an American.

What some friends have done is get the foreign passport, and then when you want to go overseas your wife applies for a exit/entry permit for the baby from Kunming PSB, easy to get and takes a week.

The benefit of this system is that you don't need a visa for the kid, can leave China easily and when you want to leave China its one less migrations visa to apply for. Once the kids lives overseas for a few years then the Chinese will accept they are no longer Chinese and they will need a visa to enter China.

If you wife can get the kid on her Hukou then you can get "free top quality" education through that, no need for a Chinese passport.

You might also like to ask yourself why you would not want your kids to be a US citizen,,when most of the rich people in China are already now not Chinese citizens anymore.

Get the kid on an American passport and on your wifes Hukou to have the best of both systems.

Quester (233 posts) • 0

Great news about the de facto dual citizenship!
Hope all goes well for the birth.
You should be aware that the normal situation is that in most Chinese hospitals (especially with a Chinese mother), the father is not permitted to be present during the birth. If that is important to you, you could try to shop around & negotiate for that, saying that you have a different culture and it's a vital part of the birthing process for you to be there etc. I haven't heard whether anyone has had success with that.

laotou (1714 posts) • 0

First - congrats on conception. Hopefully your child (male or female) will be happy and healthy without complications.

To the question:
1. Cost - choose your hospital wisely. Costs should run in the vicinity of CNY 5k for delivery & aftercare, not including drugs. Beware "certain" corrupt physicians requiring you to buy immunizations from outside the hospital. This happened to us - after we bought the immunizations, the hospital (including our physician) refused to use the meds and told us we'd have to pay for the hospital's own meds. The mother is Chinese, so there's no language or communication error - this was outright fraud - as the attending doc specified the pharmacy where we were supposed to purchase the meds (and we had to buy a double dose, so the cost was double and of course the pharmacy refused to refund the med costs - all VERY shady - worthy of execution in my opinion).

2. Make sure your wife has excellent aftercare - this is critical for new and first-time mothers. Proper diet, lots of rest, and significant social attention from the father.

3. Choose your diapers, formula, bottles, washing utensils and liquid, baby wipes (wet wipes), baby bath, blankets, clothes as soon as possible. Beware the fake formula - that's still going on - substituting other brand formula into major brand packages. Our supplier used to request we return our used formula cans...stinky fish to me, but it was worth some cheesy free gifts.

4. Citizenship. Your child can be dual nationality - but be forewarned, in China your child is Chinese and China has NO custodial relationship laws with the USA and probably other foreign countries either. Hopefully, you'll never ever need to see that ugly side of life (see item 2 above).

5. If this is your first child - start immunizing yourself to stinky smells - I suggest stinky tofu and cleaning the toilet/bathroom.

6. Get a COVERED trash can - you'll need a place to toss the poopy diapers. Only problem with this solution - the trash can stinks to high heaven when you open the thing. Wash it and air it out once a week.

7. Baby stroller - only effective if you live in or around a neighborhood with sidewalks and pathways not shared by vehicles - beware e-bikes. You'll have to be pro-actively situationally aware.

8. Stock up on fever meds - baby tylenol is still the best for killing fever so the child can rest and recover naturally. Get a baby dosage and delivery spoon.

9. Get a discount card from the local baby supplies supplier. It can save 20-30%.

10. Get LOTS of small face cloths - you'll need these for feeding (although facial tissue is an acceptable substitute). You'll also need a very soft, non-linty towel for burping the child (just in case they decide to throw up a little).

11. If possible - get a washer/dryer combo. Nothing's worse than running out of clothes because of incessant rain (and you can't hang stuff out to dry). Alternative - a hot air fan in the bathroom. Do NOT get heat lamps - babies tend to stare at bright lights and this may damage your baby's developing eyes when it's bath time.

12. If possible - keep people away from the baby for 30-90 days so baby can develop normally. Beware of early stage immunizations. I know what the WHO says - but immunizations can be toxic to a very low percentage of developing children. After the initial round of hospital immunizations, I waited until all my children were two years old before giving them their second batches of immunizations.

13. Where to sleep - hope you have a huge bed. Most Chinese mothers like to sleep with their babies. That can put a serious crimp on making siblings. A well padded stroller serves as an excellent and safe alternative to stand-alone baby beds.

The list is infinite - unfortunately, there's no degreed or certified programs for having babies - so you'll just have to depend on your elders for assistance and advice. Good luck and enjoy our current lifestyles. It ends in April and you'll enter into a brand new world, filled with frustration, amazement, anxiety, joy - utterly manic, but I wouldn't trade it for a big screen TV entertainment center. Real life is so much more fulfilling.

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