In Egyptian households, at all social levels, children of both sexes were valued and there is no evidence of infanticide.

The religion of the Ancient Egyptians forbade infanticide and during the Greco-Roman period they rescued abandoned babies from manure heaps, a common method of infanticide by Greeks or Romans, and were allowed to either adopt them as foundlings or raise them as slaves, often giving them names such as "copro -" to memorialise their rescue.

Pelasgians offered a sacrifice of every tenth child during difficult times. Many remains of children have been found in Gezer excavations with signs of sacrifice.

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For infanticide among animals, see Infanticide (zoology).

In English law infanticide is established as a distinct offence by the Infanticide Acts.

The concurrent practices of slavery and infanticide contributed to the "background noise" of the crises during the Republic.

According to mythology, Romulus and Remus, twin infant sons of the war god Mars, survived near-infanticide after being tossed into the Tiber River.

Joseph Birdsell believed that infanticide rates in prehistoric times were between 15% and 50% of the total number of births, The children were not necessarily actively killed, but neglect and intentional malnourishment may also have occurred, as proposed by Vicente Lull as an explanation for an apparent surplus of men and the below average height of women in prehistoric Menorca.

Three thousand bones of young children, with evidence of sacrificial rituals, have been found in Sardinia.

Rather than being an exception, then, it has been the rule." while in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and in the Inca Empire it was carried out by sacrifice (see below).

Many Neolithic groups routinely resorted to infanticide in order to control their numbers so that their lands could support them.

In his book Germania, Tacitus wrote that the ancient Germanic tribes enforced a similar prohibition.

He found such mores remarkable and commented: "[The Germani] hold it shameful to kill any unwanted child." Modern scholarship differs.

The Hebrew Bible also mentions what appears to be child sacrifice practiced at a place called the Tophet (from the Hebrew taph or toph, to burn) by the Canaanites.