Don't Call me Mama (6) - Nigerian Parent - American Baby! Why the Trend?



For me, the decision to have a baby within or outside Nigeria was determined by many factors, and the prestige of having an American citizen as a child had nothing to do with it. I would be taking one after the other.

Cost: This was one of the major factors of the decision. Over and over again, I would count the cost of travelling out, hospital visit, transportation, flight, etc., and I would ask myself if it was worth it. It was damn costly. I considered the pros and cons. What made my mind settled about all of these was that I considered the whole venture as an investment, rather than an expense. Let’s face it, as for now, a blue passport gets people so many opportunities than a green passport does, from education to business, etc. So I closed my eyes, spent the money, knowing I would drink gari for some time. I could have bought a plot of land, scratch that, three plots of land in Epe side, or brand new car, but I decided that this is a good thing to sacrifice for my child. The only way I could cushion the effect on my pocket was by cutting cost where I could. I found affordable hospitals, stayed with family, etc. All in all, I spent about $11,000.00. It’s still paining me till now, but it’s all good. At least, I didn’t borrow a dime, and I can boast that I owe no hospital or any American organization money, so I’m grateful.

Education: I was more convinced that I was doing the right thing for my child when ASUU went on strike in August. I was like “when will this ever end?” The same strike they’ve been striking since my Uni days? Just to drive it home, I finished secondary school 17 years ago. And they are still striking now? Are these the schools I would consider sending my child? Or will I have a child in this country and then spend tens of thousands of dollars sending my children to school abroad in future? Hell no. I would rather sacrifice now, and rest later than rest now and sacrifice later.


Medically speaking… :We honestly cannot compare the care mother and child receives in Nigeria to the one they receive in the western world. My friend had a child with a constricted heart after waiting 3 years to have a child. Thankfully, she had the child in Houston, and the child had to have open heart surgery immediately after she was born. Because of this, she spent over 2 months extra in the hospital. They definitely won’t have caught the constricted heart in Nigeria, and the child would have died about 3 days after delivery. So many mothers and babies have died in the delivery phase just because our health sector is in shambles.

Travel opportunities: This was rather for me than for my child. Followers of this blog know I travel around a lot, though I don’t put pictures of trips on social media, not because I’m humble, but rather because I’m not a picture person, lol. I know that travelling as a mother can be challenging. I didn’t want a situation where I would be struggling with visa issues, and my children would also be struggling with visa issues when they want to travel with me. I just want them to be sorted, while I struggle alone, lol. I want to be able to say get up baby, we going to the Bahamas today *grin*

Choice: Having a dual citizenship gives my child the opportunity to choose. If he chooses to suffer the afflictions of being a Nigerian when he becomes an adult, good for him. If he chooses to make use of the advantages of being an American, and decides to settle down there when he’s done with school, that’s also good for him. The thing is he has a choice, and he can choose whichever way he sees fit. As for many of us now, we are here in this country, not because we are necessarily patriotic, but because we don’t have the power of choice. My son won’t be facing that.

Other opportunities: As I said before, doors open better for you out there when you have a blue passport. You get treated differently at port of entries, you live in a country where the system actually works, you don’t pray for miracles not to die during childbirth, your perspective to life becomes different you have more opportunities at your fingers. To be honest, I don’t want my child to be subject to many things I’m subject to at the moment. If he has any problem, it should be a problem of generating ideas, not being trampled on at the next job test to be taken at national stadium.

After all said, the truth is no one knows tomorrow. Nigeria might become so much better that our passport will be worth much more than the American passport. Also, the fact that a child was born in America doesn’t mean that he’ll be more successful than the one born in Nigeria. We can only manipulate destiny to an extent give our children a good starting edge. In the end, we have to train our children well, and pray for them so that they can turn all their potential energy to kinetic energy.

Food for thought: A lot of middle class Nigerians now have children who are American citizens. It sure makes the world smaller because these parents themselves will have the opportunity to become American citizens in a few teen years. I’m waiting to see the effect this trend will have on migration and the economy in future.

What do you think? Do you think it’s worth it sacrificing so much money to have a child in USA, considering the cost?

8 comments

  1. This is a decision I hope to be making next year. I dont have family in the US but rather in the UK. So, till then... Thanks for breaking down the determining factors!

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    1. Cool. Are you British also? Cos unlike US, they don't give babies citizenship solely based on the fact that they were born in the UK.

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  2. I think its worth it honestly. If you have the means then why not, provided you don't run into debts in the process. Its up to us to do the best we can for our kids, same way our parents did the best they could in their capacity for us and the trend continues.
    However, I think you give our medical sector little or no credit. Great medical care is available in Nigeria, its your money. They can charge you your 2yrs salary without flinching.
    Staying peeled for more momma gist mama.

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    1. Yeah, we have to do the best for our kids, you are right.

      This good expensive healthcare you are mentioning is not available to the common man o.

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  3. Yeah I do think it's really worth it for any one who can afford it. Everyone would want the best they can offer themselves and their children. I would to too, when the time comes.


    Chai, Atilola oh..
    Yes our health sector generally is not optimal but it's also not a total write off.
    Saying they definitely wouldn't have caught what was wrong with your friend's child may not be totally correct.
    Emphasis on 'definitely wouldn't have caught'.

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    1. Lol Dr Tamie, no vex. You have to defend your work sector naa. If you hear the whole story of my friend's child ehn, honestly, you'll be glad it didn't happen in Nigeria.

      Please educate me, do they perform open heart surgery on babies in Nigeria? Yes, I'm ignorant like that.

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  4. Worth every dollar/naira,worth the sleepless nights calculating exchange rate,I pray the children appreciate the sacrifice when they are older,no be small sacrifice, phew!

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    1. Please don't remind me about that exhange rate o. So painful. To think that I'd have paid just about one third of this if I had had my baby 3 years ago.

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