There are many stories about giving birth on an airplane, and the child received foreign citizenship. This is true, but there are many nuances.
Attention, it isn’t recommended to fly on the last dates. But we will tell you how childbirth on board works.
The good news is that stewardess and stewards are trained to deliver babies and know what to do. The bad news is that even the fastest labors last an average of 4 hours. Therefore, on a long-haul flight, you can hit the jackpot like “birth on an airplane that is about to land.”
Important! Be sure to take with you on the plane:
• a card about your pregnancy;
• sterile oilcloth;
• sterile gloves.
Before departure, warn the staff – there is a possibility that you will become unwell from the pressure drop and stress, and in exceptional cases, premature birth may begin.
According to the World Health Organization, it is better to refuse a flight in three cases:
• If you are already more than 36 weeks pregnant (more than 32 weeks for twins).
• If the pregnancy is complicated.
• If 7 days haven’t passed since the birth.
How is citizenship acquired?
A child born on board can apply for three types of citizenship:
• Citizenship of the country to which the aircraft belongs.
• Countries over whose territory the birth took place.
• Countries where the plane landed.
The passport of the state where the aircraft landed can be claimed if the laws of that country grant citizenship under the “right of the soil.” “Law of the soil” is one of the options for acquiring citizenship. It means that the newborn becomes a citizen of the country in which he was born, regardless of the citizenship of the parents.
In 2022, the following countries adhere to the principle of “rights of the soil”:
• Antigua and Barbuda
• Dominican Republic
• Saint Christopher and Nevis
• Saint Lucia
• El Salvador
• Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
• Trinidad and Tobago
• Chile (with exceptions; children of visiting parents may not be granted citizenship)
Another principle is the “right of blood”. The child receives citizenship according to the citizenship of the parents, and the place doesn’t matter. The “right of blood” is followed by most states.
In general, it all depends on the policy of the country. But the most common practice is to obtain the citizenship of the country that owned the plane.
Free flights for those born on board, true or myth?
Some airlines give the child the right to fly for free, but this is a bonus at the discretion of the company.
In addition, there are some restrictions. For example, you can fly a certain number of times or only until the age of majority.
So to give birth or not?
Airlines do not encourage childbirth on board. The question is not so much about citizenship and bonuses, but about security. There may be an emergency, and there are no resuscitation facilities on board.
Many carriers have introduced travel restrictions for pregnant women. For example, Air France and Lufthansa don’t take on board pregnant women over 36 weeks. Before buying tickets, read the airline’s restrictions on the carriage of pregnant women.
If less than 12 weeks are left before the date of birth, it is better to have a certificate from a doctor with permission to fly. She can be asked right before boarding the plane.
Ladies and gentlemen, have a nice flight!
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