Birth tourism and migrant children’s agency: the ‘double not’ in post-handover Hong Kong

Susanne Y. P. CHOI, Ruby Y. S. LAI

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The present study examines how, in the context of birth tourism, children cope with the tensions between migration, family strategy, poverty, and societal exclusionary practices directed against immigrants. The example of economically disadvantaged ‘double not’ children – that is, children born in Hong Kong to non-affluent mainland Chinese parents described as ‘birth tourists’ in post-handover Hong Kong – brings to the fore children’s agency in navigating spatial mobility and coping with its consequences. The study examines the diverse ways in which such children talk about migration, the range of strategies they deploy to cope with their new and at times difficult circumstances after migration, and the effects these strategies have on their identity, action, emotions, and well-being. The study explores the different forms of agency of migrant children in the context of birth tourism. It situates their experiences within structural constraints and anti-migration campaigns that often see them as disrupting territorial cohesion. The findings fill a research gap in the literature on migrant children who are born in a context of birth tourism, a growing phenomenon of global mobility that blurs territorial boundaries and citizenship claims associated with those boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1209
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number5
Early online date14 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Hong Kong Research Grant Council General Research Fund: [grant number GRF2120461].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Birth tourism
  • China/Hong Kong
  • East Asia
  • migrant children's agency
  • migration


Dive into the research topics of 'Birth tourism and migrant children’s agency: the ‘double not’ in post-handover Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this