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A woman who gave birth on a plane has been deported from the US without her child amid allegations she concealed her pregnancy to gain American citizenship.

The woman, named only in reports by her surname Jien, gave birth to a healthy daughter six hours into her flight from Taipei to Los Angeles on 7 October.

Heart-warming footage showed air stewards helping with the delivery as the plane was diverted to Alaska but the mother and child have now been separated.

The woman was deported on Saturday, while her baby has reportedly remained in the US.

The woman was deported on Saturday, while her baby has reportedly remained in the US.

Taiwanese MPs questioned the island’s transport minister on the birth on Monday, asking whether public money in China Airlines had been “wasted”,

Lo Shu-lei, a politician with the ruling Kuomintang party, alleged that Ms Jien deliberately concealed her pregnancy to board the plane in the hope that she could give birth in America, “because she wanted a US passport” for her child.

A Facebook post by one of the flight attendants who delivered the baby, Lucienne Chen, claimed that when Ms Jien’s water broke mid-flight and she started going into labour, she asked: “Are we in US airspace yet?”

Taiwan’s transport minister said Ms Jien may be liable for the cost of the diversion, expected to run into thousands of dollars.

China Airlines’ policies state that women more than 32 weeks into their pregnancy cannot fly without a doctor granting an exemption.

The saga has provoked a debate about so-called birth tourism in Taiwan and elsewhere, where affluent families fly abroad to give birth to gain multiple citizenships for their children.

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