DocFest: How to Have an American Baby

  • Chinese young women enjoying the weather as they sit on sandy beach under umbrellas

Join us for post-screening Q&A with director Leslie Tai and the crew!

Maternity hotels across Southern California house expecting Chinese mothers who have traveled to the U.S. on birthing vacations… in order to give birth and obtain U.S. citizenship for their babies. In How to Have an American Baby, director Leslie Tai creates a kaleidoscopic portrait of this shadow economy, tracing the line from Beijing and Shanghai to Los Angeles. These women spend months in America preparing for birth, oftentimes making significant sacrifices such as living alone in a foreign country where they are unable to speak the language. Tai weaves together observational footage of the women’s lives as well as the industry surrounding them to demonstrate the complexity and restrictions of borders as families seek a better life for their children.

Presented as part of San Francisco Documentary Festival 2023.

1h 57m
Leslie Tai
United States
First Showing
June 3, 2023