Outsourcing childcare to China

New immigrants pay $1,000 to send their babies back home to the grandparents.

Published November 19, 2005 12:15AM (EST)

While more Americans are adopting orphaned baby girls from China, new immigrants from China to New York are sending their beloved infants back home.

According to a new study, called "Prolonged Separation Among Chinese Immigrant Families in New York City" and conducted by a psychiatrist at New York University, 57 percent of recent immigrant moms surveyed sent their babes back to the homeland to live with their new grandparents or other relatives.

Ms. Xiu Zheo, who recently gave birth to a six-pound baby girl named Angela, told the New York Sun through a translator: "I would love to be able to look at her face every day, but financially I can't have her. I have to go back to work."

"Facing enormous debt and six-day workweeks, the majority of mothers said the lack of affordable child care in the city forced them to send their babies to relatives in China," writes the Sun's Deborah Kolben. Couriers charge $1,000 per baby to help the infants make the reverse migration. The babies often return to the U.S. -- and Mom and Dad -- when they're old enough to go to school.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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