Mainland parents facing strain with Hong Kong citizenship
Mainland professionals and middle class residents have found that a decision that was intended to make their life easier may well have backfired on them. Historically, many mainland couples have taken a trip to Hong Kong to have their children, due to the fact that it brought automatic citizenship for the children. This used to mean better opportunities for the children. However, recent events and a change in cultural understanding of the phenomenon have meant that the parents now face a new set of dilemmas. None of it is pleasant, and the situation has even left some parents in despair as to how to make their children’s lives positive experiences.
For around 100,000 to 200,000 Yuan, an agent would be able to supply a service to mainland parents who wanted to have their children in Hong Kong. This service involved taking care of all the paperwork, arranging a hospital and so on. It was simple but not cheap, so only parents with certain incomes would be able to afford it. This generally meant the middle class. The fact that the baby would be born in Hong Kong generally meant better healthcare, better education, and a host of other benefits that made life easier in the long-term.
Public outcry and even protest among Hong Kong citizens has changed the situation somewhat. It is for this reason that Hong Kong policymakers have decided to create new restrictions that change the way the ‘old arrangement’ takes place.
The mainland parents who have children who were born in Hong Kong are no longer entitled to send their children to mainland schools. There are about 200,000 children affected by this, but unfortunately they are also not able to get school places in Hong Kong. Hong Kong simply cannot afford to educate all of these children. In some schools in Hong Kong, parents are queuing up five deep just to try and secure a school place.
Some parents are finding the whole thing rather demoralizing. For example, some are finding that, if they move to Hong Kong, which is an expense and upheaval in itself, they have to prepare a ‘resume’ for their child, even to attend a Hong Kong preschool. This places huge drains on their finances and time, and has caused much stress among these parents.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong officials and residents are not sympathetic, with many feeling that these mainland parents should have thought twice before giving birth in Hong Kong.
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