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Originally published Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 6:49 AM

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Germany to legalize anonymous hospital births

The German government wants to allow women to use false names when giving birth in hospitals while still ensuring that children born this way can learn the mother's name after turning 16.

The Associated Press

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BERLIN —

The German government wants to allow women to use false names when giving birth in hospitals while still ensuring that children born this way can learn the mother's name after turning 16.

A bill agreed by the Cabinet on Wednesday would allow women in distress to give birth using false names for the birth certificates.

Dozens of newborns are placed in discreet "baby boxes" associated with hospitals across Germany each year by mothers who feel unable to look after their newborns. Child rights campaigners complain that this deprives the children of their identity and encourages mothers to give birth unsafely outside hospitals.

The proposal would become law next year if passed by Parliament.

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