Infanticide (or infant homicide) is the intentional killing of infants or offspring. Infanticide was a widespread practice throughout human history that was mainly used to dispose of unwanted children, its main purpose being the prevention of resources being spent on weak or disabled offspring. Unwanted infants were normally abandoned to die of exposure, but in some societies they were deliberately killed.
Infanticide is now widely illegal, but in some places the practice is tolerated or the prohibition is not strictly enforced.
Most Stone Age human societies routinely practiced infanticide, and estimates of children killed by infanticide in the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras vary from 15 to 50 percent. Infanticide continued to be common in most societies after the historical era began, including ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the Phoenicians, ancient China, ancient Japan, Aboriginal Australia, Native Americans, and Native Alaskans.
Infanticide became forbidden in Europe and the Near