Humans are mammals. We have (mostly) one child at a time. We put a great deal of effort into each child to keep it alive. This includes years of rearing even after the child is old enough to walk and obtain its own food. Children rarely leave the home for more than brief periods before they turn eighteen.
Qualians are reptiles. They lay eggs which they store in naturally warm places and then abandon them, because that is what reptiles do. Traditionally children had to be born ready to find their own food. In modern times, Qualians artificially warm the eggs and provide food after hatching. But this is civilized behavior. Qualians lack the parenting genes. They take care of the young equally.
Qualians developed pack behavior, where multiple Qualians cooperate to obtain food. Most uncivilized Qualians joined two packs during their lifetime. The first pack was their nest pack. They cooperated with their siblings. As they grew older, they went through another period where they became intensely solitary and traveled away from their nest pack. When their restlessness subsided, they joined their adult pack. Now, when they would mate within the adult pack, they were less likely to be mating with relatives.
Modern genetic testing allows them a new method. They have a childhood pack and a belligerent young adult behavior. But rather than traveling aimlessly away from their childhood pack, they are assigned to an adult pack and offered a choice of mates with compatible genes. Studies have shown that they can cut short the solitary period by finding a compatible adult pack with no members of the young adult's nest pack.
Qualians basically go to boarding schools as children. The adults are teachers. Qualians find the human preference for family units to be weird and inefficient. It's like a society where all teachers are amateurs. What if the genetic donors are good workers but bad parents? Then the children may not get a professional level of care. That's crazy.
Humans of course find it weird that Qualian parents basically rely on the kindness of strangers to raise their young.
The problem here is that Qualians don't have the same relationship to other reptiles that humans have to other mammals. Many mammals have pregnancies with multiple births. Both cats and dogs have litters. Having single children is part of why humans could become sentient. Because human children can develop a great deal of their brain before birth.
If we do the same thing with dinosaurs, then it can work. Dinosaurs were warm-blooded. They could sit on the nest and keep it warm. If they would stop laying many eggs and start laying just one, they could put in the same type of extra effort with their one child.
The civilized process is simple. Rather than putting their children in a hatchery, they would put their child in an incubator. They'd label the egg shell in some way (paint, sticker, whatever). Then when the egg would start getting ready to hatch, they'd move it out of the incubator and into a solo hatchery. The parents might even take hatchery and egg home. Or they could come for the hatching and take just the child home.
I'm not convinced that they'd use a communal incubator. It's conceivable but unlikely. They'd be more likely to buy an incubator for the child the way that humans buy a crib.
How would the characteristics that you mention develop? We have
- Cold-blooded reptiles.
- Large clutches of eggs.
- Shared nests.
- Parental connections to children.
Our reptiles respond to this by abandoning their children who are instinctively able to care for themselves after birth. You want these reptiles to go in the opposite direction.
You need the world to be inherently dangerous. There are predators who would eat unguarded eggs. So the parents have to stay with the eggs rather than abandoning them. Cooperation makes it easier for parents to guard their eggs all day and night while still feeding themselves.
The world probably became dangerous. In early development the world was more like Earth. Eggs could be buried and abandoned in warm sand relatively safely. Some would be lost, but large clutches ensure that some survive.
As the parents put more work into making sure the children hatch, they would have smaller clutches. You don't need to lay a hundred eggs if you're watching to make sure that the children survive. Note how birds have much smaller clutches than turtles. Birds may lay as few as two eggs a year. Sea turtles lay hundreds every year, most of which are eaten by predators.
Chickens are an odd case. We feed them and steal their eggs but allow enough to grow to keep up the population. For obvious reasons, we breed the best layers with each other. So chickens produce far more eggs than comparable birds. They can do this because humans feed them. If they had to find their own food, they could not keep that rate.
Anyway, your reptiles would need a very efficient predator that would eat all the eggs if not stopped. Perhaps it knows how to find the warm places that the eggs need to hatch.
An alternative might be to make the nest places change. So a place might be warm enough when the eggs are first laid but need to be renewed. For example, a compost pile produces heat as it rots. But maybe it rots faster than the gestation period. So they have to move the eggs. But that doesn't explain the communal processing. Perhaps moving the eggs takes so much effort that they can't produce multiple clutches. Or we can go back to predation. Or both.
Then the hatchlings would have a special smell or markings that made it obvious who the parents are. For example, the color might come from the father while the pattern could come from the mother. So unless there were two mated pairs with the same color/pattern, it would be easy to see.