There was one other motivating factor in my desire to have a homebirth. As foreigners living in Mexico, we go through a Visa process and application every one to three years (depending on the current government legislation) that costs us a few hundred dollars each time. Multiply that by four (the number of people in our family at the time) and it gets really expensive, really quickly. Not to mention the fickle nature of some of the branches of Mexican government – immigration being one of them. It seems like every time there is a new election, or even a new calendar year, laws and regulations change and what we though was a bunch of progress towards the next level of our Visa suddenly becomes naught and we are back at the beginning again.
How could a homebirth help?
Any child born in Mexico is a Mexican citizen by birth, and a citizen of his or her parent’s countries by parental right. The parents of that Mexican born baby also are eligible to become permanent residents, which means one (very long, very frustrating, and very time consuming) process to completely and finally gain resident status. Apart from freeing ourselves of the ongoing application, renewal, and payment process of sustaining our Visas, the permanent resident status allows us access to more privileges as foreigners in Mexico (like owning property or a house, which is a dream of ours to do one day). It also fast-tracks the Visa process of any of our children who are not Mexican citizens by birth by allowing them to apply for the same level of Visa – permanent – as us parents, instead of having to climb the multi-tiered, multi-year traditional method of obtaining permanence.
Needless to say, this one detail weighed heavily on our decision to pursue a homebirth. Of course, if we birthed in a hospital in Mexico, our child would also be a Mexican citizen and the same privileges would apply both to us and the baby. Yet the more I researched options for hospital births here in Tijuana (and even visited a few), the more I knew that the best option for us would be our own home.