The mother of a Chinese baby boy who was rescued from a sewer pipe beneath a toilet shortly after birth is unlikely to face criminal charges because authorities concluded he fell in accidentally.
The baby was released from hospital to his maternal grandparents, while his 22-year-old mother remains under medical care.
The baby’s stunning, two-hour rescue from a pipe underneath a squat toilet in Zhejiang province’s Pujiang county captivated the world, prompting both horror and an outpouring of charity on his behalf.
The mother initially raised the alarm about the baby when he got stuck, but she had cleaned the room of signs of a fresh birth and did not immediately come forward as the mother.
She admitted she was the mother two days later when confronted by police who found baby toys and blood-stained tissues in her apartment.
Police later concluded that the incident was an accident and that the woman did not initially come forward because she was frightened, but that she later started telling the truth, the Jinhua Evening News and a Pujiang county official said. Police initially treated the case as a possible attempted murder, but now are unlikely to file criminal charges.
A man tracked down by police who is believed to be the baby’s father has requested a paternity test and — if the baby is his — is willing to help support the child, said the official.
Officials have not publicly released the names of anyone connected with the case, which has raised discussion over China’s lack of proper education about sex, birthing and contraception in many schools.
Unwanted pregnancies have been on the rise because of an increasingly lax attitude toward premarital sex.
The woman told police she got pregnant after a brief affair with the man, hid her pregnancy from family and neighbours, and secretly delivered the child on Saturday in a rental building’s toilet.
The baby, who weighed six pounds, 2.8 ounces, had a low heart rate and some minor abrasions on his head and limbs, but was mostly unhurt.
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