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Subject: Advice on giving birth in the US rss

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Denis Buslaev
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Hey.
So I'm a 32-year-old from Russia. I have a wonderful wife and an almost a 7-year son. My wife is pregnant again and we want to move to the US for several months and have a baby be born there (end of December).

There are several reasons why we want to do this and I'll list just a few.
1. We can. We have US visa open. We have enough savings. I work remotely.
2. Baby will get a US citizenship. I don't think any other country provides citizenship based on place of birth. We see this as a great opportunity for a child to be able to study/work in the US when he or she grows up.
3. We are not satisfied with a quality of medical services we can receive in our hometown.
4. We are trying to teach our son English as his 2nd language. We have decent progress here but you can only achieve this much without native speaking environment. So our plan is to find a school for him for the period we'll be there. He has experience of attending English-speaking schools already.
5. Winter in Russia kinda sucks. We had run away from it to other countries before (Thailand and Cyprus).
6. We've been to the US before and loved it.

Overall, we just want to do it and feels right on every level.

Apparently, there are a lot of Russian women who come to the US to give birth. There is even a whole market of middle-man services with All-inclusive plans and other nonsense. Most of them are based in Miami. We want to stay away from those as much as possible.

We have only started to plan our trip and it looks somewhat more complicated than any trip we had before.
Our biggest concern right now is a School for our son. This is very important to us but unfortunately is very hard to do remotely. We'll have to go to the private school most likely but that's ok. The problem is that from the first 10 schools we've written to only a couple returned our message. We start with a school because we can possibly make a 1.5-hour drive to the hospital if needed. But it's hard to make more than one hour ride just to get a child to the school every day.

So overall our plan so far as follows:
1. Find a good school which will accept our son.
2. Find a place to live in the corresponding area.
3. Find a doctor and hospital for my wife.

The thing is that this could be almost anywhere. We are currently looking at Tampa area just because we have a flight to Miami and we had to start somewhere. Florida seems like a natural choice given we'll be there from the beginning of November until the end March.
And it doesn't have to be a school. Just some place where he could socialize and spend time regularly.

This is probably a strange place to ask advice on such topic, but I think geek is full of reasonable people who can point us in a right direction.

At this point, I merely ask how crazy all this sounds to you and do you have any ideas on how we should approach this.
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ObsoleteOne wrote:
Hey.
So I'm a 32-year-old from Russia. I have a wonderful wife and an almost a 7-year son. My wife is pregnant again and we want to move to the US for several months and have a baby be born there (end of December).

There are several reasons why we want to do this and I'll list just a few.
1. We can. We have US visa open. We have enough savings. I work remotely.
2. Baby will get a US citizenship. I don't think any other country provides citizenship based on place of birth. We see this as a great opportunity for a child to be able to study/work in the US when he or she grows up.
3. We are not satisfied with a quality of medical services we can receive in our hometown.
4. We are trying to teach our son English as his 2nd language. We have decent progress here but you can only achieve this much without native speaking environment. So our plan is to find a school for him for the period we'll be there. He has experience of attending English-speaking schools already.
5. Winter in Russia kinda sucks. We had run away from it to other countries before (Thailand and Cyprus).
6. We've been to the US before and loved it.

Overall, we just want to do it and feels right on every level.

Apparently, there are a lot of Russian women who come to the US to give birth. There is even a whole market of middle-man services with All-inclusive plans and other nonsense. Most of them are based in Miami. We want to stay away from those as much as possible.

We have only started to plan our trip and it looks somewhat more complicated than any trip we had before.
Our biggest concern right now is a School for our son. This is very important to us but unfortunately is very hard to do remotely. We'll have to go to the private school most likely but that's ok. The problem is that from the first 10 schools we've written to only a couple returned our message. We start with a school because we can possibly make a 1.5-hour drive to the hospital if needed. But it's hard to make more than one hour ride just to get a child to the school every day.

So overall our plan so far as follows:
1. Find a good school which will accept our son.
2. Find a place to live in the corresponding area.
3. Find a doctor and hospital for my wife.

The thing is that this could be almost anywhere. We are currently looking at Tampa area just because we have a flight to Miami and we had to start somewhere. Florida seems like a natural choice given we'll be there from the beginning of November until the end March.
And it doesn't have to be a school. Just some place where he could socialize and spend time regularly.

This is probably a strange place to ask advice on such topic, but I think geek is full of reasonable people who can point us in a right direction.

At this point, I merely ask how crazy all this sounds to you and do you have any ideas on how we should approach this.


Sacramento in Northern California, has a very large Russian immigrant population.

There are schools and hospitals.

Far from Florida, but if you were staying for awhile it might be easier around people that have similar experiences/background as you when you are in a new place.

My cleaners down the street are Russian, there is a Russian bakery nearby my home (I just point to what I want when they greet me in Russian), and a Russian church and market next to my closet FLGS.

Russian and Spanish are the main two non-English languages I hear in my area.

Good luck!
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Denis Buslaev
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droberts441 wrote:

Sacramento in Northern California, has a very large Russian immigrant population.

There are schools and hospitals.

Far from Florida, but if you were staying for awhile it might be easier around people that have similar experiences/background as you when you are in a new place.

My cleaners down the street are Russian, there is a Russian bakery nearby my home (I just point to what I want when they greet me in Russian), and a Russian church and market next to my closet FLGS.

Russian and Spanish are the main two non-English languages I hear in my area.

Good luck!


Thanks.

We ok to be outcasts.
I don't think that staying close to Russian community will help our son to improve his English. It for sure will be much easier that way but I feel we are looking for more authentic experience for ourselves.
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Andy Andersen
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Grand Rapids. Great schools and it's Beer City, USA.

It does get a bit cold here however.

Welcome.
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I've heard Tampa is nice, so that's probably a good choice. It's less Latin than south Florida and less redneck than northern Florida, so you get a nice happy medium. And if you are coming from Cyprus and Thailand then Florida is probably the only US state that comes close to that tropical climate.

Pittsburgh PA is annoyingly cold in the winter, but there are world-class hospitals, great schools, some high-tech jobs (Google, CMU, robotics, etc.), low crime, reasonable cost of living (if you don't count the onerous property taxes,) and a generally keep-to-yourself sort of social climate where nothing ever really happens. Good for those who want a simple, laid-back lifestyle, not good if you desire the hustle & bustle life. And decaying rust-belt towns kinda resemble Communist Russia, so you should feel somewhat at home!
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ObsoleteOne wrote:
The problem is that from the first 10 schools we've written to only a couple returned our message.


They probably think it's some kind of scam. This might all be easier when you're standing at the receptionist desk at the school. I know, that's not good for planning.
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John James
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Florida's west coast up through Tampa is about to get pummeled by the biggest hurricane ever recorded this weekend. November is still going to be quite messy for some areas.
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fightcitymayor wrote:
Pittsburgh PA is annoyingly cold in the winter, but there are world-class hospitals, great schools, some high-tech jobs (Google, CMU, robotics, etc.), low crime, reasonable cost of living (if you don't count the onerous property taxes,) and a generally keep-to-yourself sort of social climate where nothing ever really happens. Good for those who want a simple, laid-back lifestyle, not good if you desire the hustle & bustle life. And decaying rust-belt towns kinda resemble Communist Russia, so you should feel somewhat at home!


I worked with a few Russians in the Cleveland area, back in the day - software/IT jobs are surprisingly abundant in that area of the Midwest, although certainly far moreso in California and the Pacific Northwest (one of the reasons we moved from Cleveland to the 'Silicon Forest' here in Oregon was to help my career options).

If you like heat, though, your options in the US for good schools, good jobs, and good hospitals...that are affordable...are somewhat limited. For some reason, *everyone* seems to like the sun. I don't get it. The climate here is, in contrast, very temperate. I understand it's quite like England. We practically never get to freezing, and snow is a stops-the-entire-city-in-its-tracks level of rarity. On the other hand, the number of days that go over 90F/32C in a year you can count on your fingers.
 
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Oliver Dienz
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Will you have some form of health insurance during your stay in the US? I know you have savings and those may be sufficient to cover everything if all goes as planned. Nevertheless, if there are complications such as a preterm delivery which requires your newborn to stay in the NICU you may look at a five if not six figure bill. Hospital cost in the US can quickly spiral out of control.

I could certainly recommend the Burlington area in Vermont. We got our kids here as immigrants and had a great experience. There are also private schools that should work out for your son and the public schools are really good, too. Nevertheless, winters are probably not all that different to Russia (save for Siberia). laugh
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Wendell
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Not quite the question you asked, but you should also pay close attention to the medical costs of giving birth in the US. I think you'll find it will be far more expensive here than it would be in Russia. I of course have no idea what sort of medical insurance you have, whether it covers labor/births in other countries, etc, but something to consider. Many foreigners experience severe sticker shock at American medical costs.

Edit: Didn't see Oliver's post!
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Orangemoose wrote:
Grand Rapids. Great schools and it's Beer City, USA.

It does get a bit cold here however.

Welcome.


Similar point, Ann Arbor is home to one of the best Children's hospitals in the country and AA is often considered the best city in the state to live in(GR is often #2) and one of the best in the country. I know it was voted the best for women to live in a few years back. You do get Michigan winters, but they aren't what they use to be.
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Denis Buslaev
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odie73 wrote:
Will you have some form of health insurance during your stay in the US? I know you have savings and those may be sufficient to cover everything if all goes as planned. Nevertheless, if there are complications such as a preterm delivery which requires your newborn to stay in the NICU you may look at a five if not six figure bill. Hospital cost in the US can quickly spiral out of control.


We usually buy traveler's insurance when we travel and it's worked fine for us so far. As far as we know nobody will cover costs associated with pregnancy though, so we are on self-pay here.

Luckily hospitals usually give discounts if you are paying with cash. That makes their prices slightly less crazy (not really).

We were told that after the baby is born we can buy him or her insurance and that might help cover such emergency costs.
In short, I hope we are somewhat prepared for worse than perfect scenarios although it's hard to be sure. I mean I haven't studied any definitive list of birth complications and corresponding price estimates for those. And I honestly don't want to. I think if such emergency case arises I still would be more than happy that we are in US hospital even if I'll have to sell my apartment in Russia after that.
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odie73 wrote:
Will you have some form of health insurance during your stay in the US? I know you have savings and those may be sufficient to cover everything if all goes as planned. Nevertheless, if there are complications such as a preterm delivery which requires your newborn to stay in the NICU you may look at a five if not six figure bill. Hospital cost in the US can quickly spiral out of control.

I could certainly recommend the Burlington area in Vermont. We got our kids here as immigrants and had a great experience. There are also private schools that should work out for your son and the public schools are really good, too. Nevertheless, winters are probably not all that different to Russia (save for Siberia). laugh


Our first child was in the NICU for 3 weeks. It was $96,000.
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ObsoleteOne wrote:
odie73 wrote:
Will you have some form of health insurance during your stay in the US? I know you have savings and those may be sufficient to cover everything if all goes as planned. Nevertheless, if there are complications such as a preterm delivery which requires your newborn to stay in the NICU you may look at a five if not six figure bill. Hospital cost in the US can quickly spiral out of control.


We usually buy traveler's insurance when we travel and it's worked fine for us so far. As far as we know nobody will cover costs associated with pregnancy though, so we are on self-pay here.

Luckily hospitals usually give discounts if you are paying with cash. That makes their prices slightly less crazy (not really).

We were told that after the baby is born we can buy him or her insurance and that might help cover such emergency costs.
In short, I hope we are somewhat prepared for worse than perfect scenarios although it's hard to be sure. I mean I haven't studied any definitive list of birth complications and corresponding price estimates for those. And I honestly don't want to. I think if such emergency case arises I still would be more than happy that we are in US hospital even if I'll have to sell my apartment in Russia after that.


Be warned - if you buy insurance for your baby after he/she is born, it will almost CERTAINLY not cover any pre-existing conditions.
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Florida law states that if you can prove you reside in the state of Florida that your child/ren have the right to attend public schools. So, wherever you end up moving, you just need to go to the public school zoned for that address. Depending on how far away you live, he might get a school bus (if it is far enough away). Plan on bringing his school and medical records; his immunizations need to be up-to-date and he needs to have a recent physical (less than 1 year).

Click here: http://www.fldoe.org/how-do-i/attendance-enrollment.stml
Look at the answer to the following question (7th from the bottom):
What information is required in order to enroll a student in a Florida public school?
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ObsoleteOne wrote:
odie73 wrote:
Will you have some form of health insurance during your stay in the US? I know you have savings and those may be sufficient to cover everything if all goes as planned. Nevertheless, if there are complications such as a preterm delivery which requires your newborn to stay in the NICU you may look at a five if not six figure bill. Hospital cost in the US can quickly spiral out of control.


We usually buy traveler's insurance when we travel and it's worked fine for us so far. As far as we know nobody will cover costs associated with pregnancy though, so we are on self-pay here.

Luckily hospitals usually give discounts if you are paying with cash. That makes their prices slightly less crazy (not really).

We were told that after the baby is born we can buy him or her insurance and that might help cover such emergency costs.
In short, I hope we are somewhat prepared for worse than perfect scenarios although it's hard to be sure. I mean I haven't studied any definitive list of birth complications and corresponding price estimates for those. And I honestly don't want to. I think if such emergency case arises I still would be more than happy that we are in US hospital even if I'll have to sell my apartment in Russia after that.

I forgot to add: Vermont also has a pretty generous Medicaid program for children and pregnant women called Dr. Dynosaur. Legal aliens are eligible and the maximum household income levels are relatively high (e. g. $61,200 for a family of 3). You could check if during your stay you could enroll: https://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/1614

The other option may be to sign up for a health plan if that's possible as a legal alien: https://portal.healthconnect.vermont.gov/VTHBELand/welcome.a...

In contrast to many other countries, US insurances usually negotiate lower rates with providers while "out-of-pocket" patients pay often the full cost of any treatment.
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Syvanis wrote:
odie73 wrote:
Will you have some form of health insurance during your stay in the US? I know you have savings and those may be sufficient to cover everything if all goes as planned. Nevertheless, if there are complications such as a preterm delivery which requires your newborn to stay in the NICU you may look at a five if not six figure bill. Hospital cost in the US can quickly spiral out of control.

I could certainly recommend the Burlington area in Vermont. We got our kids here as immigrants and had a great experience. There are also private schools that should work out for your son and the public schools are really good, too. Nevertheless, winters are probably not all that different to Russia (save for Siberia). laugh


Our first child was in the NICU for 3 weeks. It was $96,000.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope everything worked out ok and your little one is now safe and sound. Best of luck.
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We were insured so a decent amount was covered about 85%. My son is 10 now and a regular gamer.
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Orangemoose wrote:
Grand Rapids. Great schools and it's Beer City, USA.

It does get a bit cold here however.

Welcome.

Another vote for El Rapido and its fine beers. There are a bunch of shiny new hospitals too, and a university. And it's, uh, a pro-Russian electorate.
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Denis Buslaev
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Quick Update here.

Eventually we decided to stay in Florida and settled down in Boca Raton. We like it very much here, although it's somewhat expensive.

But the main point is we had our daughter born couple weeks ago and she is beautiful and healthy and we are really happy as a family right now. Hospital was awesome, people here were super nice to my wife everywhere we went and overall it's a very pleasant experience for us so far.

I even found people to play board games with through meetup.com, and CoolStuffInc Hollywood isn't that far from where we stay too.

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Jo llyboat
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Congratulations! Best wishes for your whole family!
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Congrats! I love it when a plan comes together!
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ObsoleteOne wrote:
Eventually we decided to stay in Florida and settled down in Boca Raton. We like it very much here, although it's somewhat expensive.


Congratulations!
Shoot, I could have told you that after going to college there (FAU) and worked there (IBM). Still miss the beaches there soblue
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