Passenger Has Baby on Airplane, Names Infant After Flight Attendant

Citizenship Questions Arise After Child is Born Mid-Flight

A passenger has a baby while miles over Armenia: which country will the baby claim citizenship in? That's the question that has to be answered for Armina Babayan Saturday, who was flying to Zvartnots International Airport from Siberia while with child.

The passenger had her baby, a boy, about two hours before the plane landed in Yerevan, Armenia, the country's capital. The Armavia Airlines flight attendants understood that Babayan was expecting, but because she had claimed to be 6-and-a-half months pregnant, no one thought she would go into labor while aboard the plane.

Fortunately, once the attendants realized the 31-year-old woman was going into labor, Asmik Gevondyan helped organize everyone to help with the delivery.

"All of our crew helped to deliver the baby," the attendant told the Associated Press.

The new mother was so grateful for the aircraft crew's help that she named her child after the flight attendant: little Asmik was born, and no complications with the birth were reported.

Despite the happy news, there is some debate as to where the infant will claim citizenship. Because it was born on the plane and not on the ground, it could be a citizen of several countries, according to varying sets of rules.

For the United Nations, they consider a baby born while the mother is aboard an airplane to "have been born in the airplane's registered country," according to HowStuffWorks. In other cases, when the child first disembarks, he or she is a citizen of that city and country.

When another mother bore her child on a flight from the Phillipines to the United States last year, the question was raised again. Aida Alamillo was headed to Massachusetts when she went into labor for 15 minutes and had Kevin, a baby boy. In that case, because he was born in international waters and not in United States airspace, the child could not immediately be made a U.S. citizen.