Argentina: “birth tourism”, another case of corruption…

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More than 5,000 pregnant Russian women have entered Argentina in recent months, according to an article published in late 2022 in the British daily The Guardian. The newcomers were all in their final weeks of pregnancy and wanted to ensure their babies were born there in order to obtain citizenship.

Argentinian authorities have pointed to “mafias” organized to promote “tourism” for Russian mothers-to-be (which includes theft, seasonal rental, childbirth in private clinics and nationality management with packages between 15,000 and US$35,000) since the invasion of Ukraine.

Russians can travel visa-free to Argentina, a country where all newborns are automatically granted citizenship by ius soli, making it an attractive destination for so-called “birth tourism”.

For its part, the Argentine passport allows entry into 171 countries without a visa, including those of the European Union, the United Kingdom and Japan, unlike the Russian passport, with which access is only authorized in 80 country.

Russian citizen Kirill Makoveev, founder of the agency RuArgentina, the receptive agency for pregnant women based in Buenos Aires, told the local press: “We provide a quality translation, information and support service. We do not traffic in human beings. We are a travel agency, and do not sell passports or identity cards, only information on how to obtain these documents legally”.

Makoveev would not make statements regarding the criminal cases in which his involvement is under investigation. For the time being, the local media have also not given the names of the Argentinian officials of the migration and civil registry service also implicated in this case.

Catherine Mills Avatar