Anonymous birth

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An anonymous birth is a birth where the mother gives birth to a child without disclosing her identity, or where her identity remains unregistered. In many countries, anonymous births have been legalized for centuries in order to prevent formerly frequent killings of newborn children, particularly outside of marriage.

In an anonymous birth, the mother's right of informational self-determination severely curtails the children's right to know about their biological ancestry, therefore going beyond the concept of a confidential birth, where the identity of the mother is registered but remains undisclosed, unless the grown up child requests disclosure at a later point.


Early anonymous birth legislation can be found in Sweden where the Infanticide Act of 1778 granted mothers both the right and all means to give birth to their child anonymously. In France, anonymous births were legalized in 1793, when Article 326 of the Code Civil introduced both the concepts of anonymous and confidential births.

Legal situation

See also