The infants who were stabbed were 13, 22 and 33 days old, according to a law-enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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NEW YORK — Many neighbors had long been suspicious about the red brick town house in Queens.

Bryan Kim, 19, said he had seen pregnant women showing up at the home.

Sheng Long Peng, 70, said he had often seen the owner of the home arrive in his car with groups of pregnant women.

Elizabeth Lee, 51, said she saw minivans drop off women with suitcases. “They would arrive as much as twice a week,” she said.

By the time Kayla Cho, another neighbor, woke up about 3:30 a.m. Friday to the sound of screaming coming from the home, followed by cries for help, the questions about the residence had taken a violent turn.

When police officers arrived at the house in the Flushing neighborhood, they found three infants and two adults had been stabbed by an employee, who then cut her own wrist, according to police.

Law-enforcement officials said the employee was Yu Fen Wang, 52, who was unconscious when officers arrived. She regained consciousness after officers applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, and was taken into custody. She was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.

At the home where the stabbings occurred, officials said they found cribs for 11 children and believe that nine babies were present at the time of the attack. Two knives were recovered at the scene, the police said.

The infants who were stabbed were 13, 22 and 33 days old, according to a law-enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

One of the adults, who was stabbed in the leg, was the 31-year-old father of one of the infants, police said. The other adult, a 63-year-old woman who was stabbed in the torso, was a co-worker of the employee, according to police.

As of Friday afternoon, the three infants, two girls and a boy, were in critical condition; one of the girls suffered more serious injuries than the others, said Juanita Holmes, assistant chief in the Police Department’s Patrol Borough Queens North.

Earlier reports described the home as a residential day-care center. But law-enforcement officials suspect the residence was used to house women from Asia who traveled to the United States on tourist visas to give birth to their children to secure U.S. citizenship, according to the law-enforcement official.

“We think it had something to do with immigration and citizenship,” the law-enforcement official said.

Officials do not know if the mothers will take them back home in what appeared to be a “maternity tourism” or “birth tourism” operation. Once U.S. citizen children turn 21, they can sponsor a parent for a green card.

Maternity tourism is a small but persistent phenomenon and is particularly prevalent in California, where in 2015 federal agents raided more than 30 locations that they said were part of the industry. Typically, “birth tourists” are people with sufficient money to travel from foreign countries to give birth in the United States. The parents and their infants then return to their home country.

“If you’re born here, then you don’t have to worry about ever having illegal status,” said Angela Maria Kelley, an immigration adviser for the Open Society Foundations, which promotes democracy and human rights around the world.

Many facilities that operate as a place for foreign-born women to give birth register as day-care centers because it is less likely to raise questions, said Mingli Chen, an immigration lawyer. Chen estimates half these operations are legally registered but as day cares. The home in Flushing was not registered as a licensed or regulated child-care program, according to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.