Giving Birth in Canada: How Much Does It Cost?

How much does it cost to give birth in Canada? And in the US? Which country has the best health care system? Where medical services are cheaper? Look for the answers in the article below.

Is Baby Tourism Legal in Canada? 

Baby tourism is popular in Canada because it is one of the few developed countries that grants any child born in Canada the right to become a Canadian citizen, regardless of the parents’ citizenship or residency status. It is absolutely legal. A tourist visa is issued in the usual way. The expectant mother may be denied a visa without giving a reason, so she should prove her intention to return to her home country as well as show her financial solvency. It will be easier to get a visa if the mother-to-be provides a paycheck for services and a letter from the doctor who will deliver a baby.

What does Canadian Citizenship Give a Newborn and His Parents? 

Parents of the newborn Canadian citizen get neither Canadian citizenship nor residence permit. Their child, as a Canadian citizen, has the right to get free health care services and education in Canada. After reaching the age of 18, he or she can sponsor his or her parents and invite them to live permanently in the country.

How Much Does it Cost to Have a Baby in Canada With or Without Insurance? 

The Canadian health care system is a publicly funded Medicare system. Citizens and permanent residents of the country have free access to this system. For them, the cost of giving birth to a child is either completely free or equals to the cost of a couple of hundred dollars to pay for a private ward.

Tourists and non-residents have to pay bills from their own pockets if they do not have international health care insurance to cover the costs. The cost of having a child in Canada without insurance or access to the Canadian Medicare system is indicated in the table below.

Medical services in Canada Average costs without insurance, CAD Average costs with international insurance or Medicare, CAD
Antepartal care, one visit 100–150 0
Prenatal fetal screening 300–500 0–300
Vaginal delivery at a hospital 5,000 – 8,000 0 – 1,000
Caesarean section at a hospital 10,000 – 12,000 0 – 1,000
Home delivery with a midwife 2,500 860 – 2,500

For instance, in British Columbia, where baby tourism is particularly developed, there are agents providing a package of services for pregnant women. It includes midwife services, three-month accommodation (including a month after birth) but excludes food and prenatal care. The costs are about C$25,000 (or approximately $18,000). With the round trip flight, food, and other expenses the total amount will be higher. In other provinces (for example, in Quebec) the costs may be lower.

How Much Does It Cost in the US? 

In the US, prices vary from city to city. In New York City and Los Angeles, the delivery services are above $20,000; $7,000 – 10,000 in Miami; and $5,000 – 6,000 in Salt Lake City. The costs in Salt Lake City surge to about $18,000 – 22,000 including flights, meals, accommodation for 2–3 months for two adults and a newborn.

Therefore, prices in Canada and the United States are not very different. Giving birth in one of these countries costs $20,000 on average.

Canada vs. the US: Where It Is Better? 

The health care system in Canada is one of the best in the world and can easily compete with the American one. Canadian citizenship is not worse than American, and the standard of living in Canada in many aspects (safety, access to education, etc.) is higher than that of the US. However, most baby tourists travel to the United States because this industry is functioning on a massive scale there, and many suppliers offer packages that include all the necessary services. In Canada, this business is almost undeveloped. At the same time, birth tourism levels in Canada are 5 times higher than it is stated by the official statistics.

How To Register a Child in Canada? 

Each province or territory has established its own process to register the childbirth. For example, in Ontario, a child must be registered within the first 30 days after birth. Contact local authorities for more information. 

After registering your child’s birth and obtaining a birth certificate as proof of Canadian citizenship, you can apply for the child’s Canadian passport. You will need to:

  • Fill out a form 
  • Provide a birth certificate
  • Have two photos for the passport 
  • Find a representative (this could be a doctor who observed the child in the first days after birth) 
  • Pay fees 
  • Send the documents to the Passport Canada to this address: Gatineau QC K1A 0G3, Canada