Woman gives birth in forest near Canada-U.S. border crossing, calls 911

Police in Quebec suspect the family was attempting an illegal border crossing into the United States when the birth happened. They were contacted by U.S. border patrol agents who received the woman's 911 call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

A woman gave birth in a Quebec forest near the U.S. border on Thursday night, the RCMP has confirmed.

Authorities say they believe the birth happened while the mother was attempting an illegal southbound border crossing into the United States.

RCMP officers in Quebec say they got a call at 10 p.m. after U.S. border patrol agents told them that an emergency call was placed to a 911 call centre in Vermont for a woman giving birth near Quebec’s Chemin Laplume in the province’s Eastern Townships.

She was with a man and a young child. RCMP Sgt. Charles Poirier would not confirm the relationship between the three people, but said he “assumed they were a family unit.”

Police were able to track the woman’s location via the GPS data collected from her 911 call.

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They first found the man, who had left the woman to get help, and he brought police back to where he had left her and the small child.

Sgt. Poirier said the mother had already given birth and both she and the newborn were doing fine.

First responders arrived and she and the baby were transported via ATV to an ambulance waiting for them at the road. They were brought to a hospital in Magog, Que., in stable condition.

“We do believe they were attempting an illegal southbound border crossing,” Poirier said “I cannot confirm their citizenship status, but they were in Canada legally. They did not commit any offence.”

He said Chemin Laplume is surrounded by “harsh terrain and steep woods,” so it isn’t the most popular of border crossings. “But there have been a few over the years.”

Under current Canadian and American immigration legislation, birthright citizenship is law. Back in 2020 the U.S. imposed new rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism,” in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have U.S. citizenship.

In Canada, under the Citizenship Act, all babies born on Canadian soil are automatically granted citizenship except for children of foreign diplomats.

Canada and the United States are the only G7 countries that have birthright citizenship.

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–with files from The Associated Press

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