China has banned individuals and groups are from privately adopting abandoned infants.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs announced Tuesday that people who find an abandoned child must immediately tell local residential committees and the police and not adopt the child at will.

China's one-child policy and a traditional preference for male heirs result in the abandonment of girls and disabled children. Poverty and the social stigma for unmarried women to give birth are also factors.

China's adoption law forbids baby trafficking and trafficking abandoned babies in the name of adoption, but doesn't mention whether individuals are allowed to keep abandoned babies. The new rules that forbid keeping such babies are outlined in a document from several government departments that was posted on the Ministry of Civil Affairs' website.