A Question of Citizenship for Baby Born Mid Flight Over the Pacific Ocean

Aida Alamillo gave birth to her son on a flight from the Philippines to the U.S.--leaving the question about his technical citizenship open. (Photo credit: Fox 25 Boston)

A pregnant woman from the Philippines was on a plane to the United States when she suddenly went into labor and gave birth to a baby boy mid-flight over the Pacific Ocean Monday. The question now is whether that baby has American or Filipino citizenship.

According to Fox 25 Boston, Aida Alamillo, 41, was immigrating to the United States with her three other children. She had a visa to travel to the U.S. and she planned to have her fourth baby stateside so he would automatically be granted American citizenship. At 35 weeks pregnant, she had permission from her doctor to travel but went into labor sooner than expected.

The San Francisco Examiner reported three nurses aboard the plane and the flight crew assisted in the delivery in a private spot in the business cabin. The other passengers cheered at the news that the baby had been born, and Alamillo and her son were taken to a local hospital when the plane landed in San Francisco.

Alamillo told the Examiner she still can’t believe she gave birth to her son in the sky.

“I was scared, of course, it’s very scary,” she told the paper. “But I am now very happy because of my son. I have my baby healthy and great and beautiful.”

It’s unclear whether the baby was born over international waters.

A representative from the Center for Immigration Studies told Fox that if a child is born over the open ocean it is generally considered a citizen of the country the parent has legal citizenship in. If the baby was born in U.S. airspace, it is automatically a United States citizen.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the hospital couldn’t confirm to the Examiner whether the baby would be given U.S. citizenship.

Alamillo named the six-pound baby Kevin Raymar Francis Alamillo Domingo, with “Francis” a nod to the Bay Area city.