How to Have an American Baby

Film phase:Completed


How to Have an American Baby is a kaleidoscopic voyage that travels behind closed doors into the booming shadow economy that caters to affluent Chinese tourists who travel to the US on birthing vacations—in order to give birth and obtain US citizenship for their babies. Tracing the underground supply chain from Beijing and Shanghai to Los Angeles, the film weaves together vignettes and deeply private moments. In bedrooms, delivery rooms, and family meetings, the story of a hidden global economy emerges—depicting the fortunes and tragedies that befall the ordinary people caught in the web of its influence.

How to Have an American Baby participated in the 2017 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program) 


Leslie Tai looking straight ahead. She has shoulder-length dark hair. Black and white portrait.Leslie Tai is a Chinese-American filmmaker from San Francisco. Her award-winning shorts have premiered at Tribeca, MoMA, IDFA, and Visions du Réel. Leslie spent five years making films in the underground documentary film movement in China. She is a Fulbright Scholar and holds an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University.