The Chinese newborn who was rescued from a sewer pipe has been released to his family and his mother is unlikely to face criminal charges because authorities concluded he fell into the toilet after his birth accidentally. The baby was released from a hospital to his maternal grandparents late Wednesday, while his 22-year-old mother remains under medical care, the state-run Jinhua Evening News reported, in an account confirmed Thursday by a local police official who declined to give his name.
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 Saturday in a pipe just below a squat toilet in a public restroom of a residential building, but she had cleaned the room of signs of a fresh birth and did not immediately come forward as the mother, officials have been quoted as saying. She admitted she was the mother two days later when confronted by police who found baby toys and blood-stained tissues in her apartment, the reports said.
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 propaganda official said. The police initially treated the case as a possible attempted homicide, but now are unlikely to file criminal charges, the newspaper and the official said.
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 Pujiang official, who declined to give his name, as is customary among Chinese officials.
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.