“Once the travel bug bites, there is no known antidote and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” –Michael Palin
If you’ve stumbled upon this blog post I can only assume that you’re one of us: one of the many who have been bitten by the travel bug. Your travels will lead you far and wide, and amongst the journey you’re bound to find a favorite place or two. Perhaps you’ll stay a week, a month, or a year. Maybe this new place will become your forever home. When the idea of starting a family is upon you, you’ll be faced with the decision on where to have to have your baby.
And that’s why we ask,
Which countries are the best for having a baby in?
Photo Cred: Maternity and Infant
The benefits to having children abroad are plentiful. There’s the obvious: dual citizenship. Having more than one citizenship and/or passport opens the door of travel possibilities for your child. From education and employment opportunities, to basic ease and freedom to travel in certain nations, I certainly wish I had more than one passport to my name.
No matter where in the world you are, being a parent is hard work and we can all use a helping hand. So after a little research, we pulled together the 10 best countries you may want to consider having a baby in:
Listed for: the affordable healthcare system and the Paid Parental Leave scheme, where parents may receive up to 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage.
Listed for: Elternzeit, the paternity leave where you are guaranteed full employment protection and can take parental leave up to a total of three years. Bonus: in many cases, daycare and education are completely free.
Listed for: the 15 weeks maternity leave, where mothers receive benefits equivalent to 80% of their salary, as well as giving fathers 7 days paid paternity leave at 82% of their salary.
Listed for: the “Cheque bebe’ program, where mothers are entitled to a 2500 Euro cheque from the government for the birth or adoption of every newborn baby.
Listed for: giving parents the right to a total of 52 weeks leave which can be divided between both mother and father, and for being one of the most valuable countries to have a passport in.
Listed for: allowing new mothers 16 weeks of paid leave at 100% of their earnings.
Listed for: providing mothers and fathers three months parental leave each, and a further three months to share between them.
Listed for: being a remarkably healthy country, and for a 100% paid parental benefit for up to 49 weeks.
Listed for: allowing parents 480 days leave which can be taken by the month, week, day or even by the hour.
Listed for: everything.
There’s no way around it: the Finns really know how to treat new moms and pops. Dating back to the 1930’s, the Finland government has supported expectant families in a number of ways: from paid maternity, paternal and parental leave, to shortened work days, to outstanding healthcare and to baby gifts – yes, gifts.
So let’s talk presents, because we all love presents. For each child a Finnish family has, the government sends a “baby box”. In the box (that doubles as a baby bed), parents are gifted with a variety of baby outfits, shoes, toys, books, diapers, towels and other necessary items.
Photo cred: OMG Facts
When it comes to financial support, the government cannot be faulted for giving families options. Both parents can enjoy the chance to care for their children due to the generous parental leave plan. This system is one that most countries around the world have yet to even consider. Families can choose to divide their leave between the maternity leave (18 weeks), paternity leave (9 weeks) and the stated parental leave (26 weeks). Here the average rate of pay is between 70-90% of the parents’ annual earnings.
So whether you’re planning or pregnant, Finland is proving to be a great place to call home.