A newborn rescued from a sewer pipe in China has been returned to his mother after authorities decided he became trapped accidentally, a local official said Thursday.
The baby’s stunning, two-hour rescue from a pipe underneath a squat toilet in Pujiang county prompted both horror and an outpouring of charity on behalf of the boy, who has been taken away from a hospital by the unwed mother and a man believed to be the father after authorities deemed them fit to take care of the baby.
The man has requested a paternity test and — if the baby is his — is ready to discuss with the woman how to support the child, an official at the Pujiang county propaganda office in Zhejiang province in the eastern part of the country said Thursday.
It was not clear if the couple would raise the child together. Officials have not publicly released the names of either of the two adults.
The case has raised discussion of China’s lack of proper education about s*x and birthing in many schools. Despite the country’s one child policy, unwanted pregnancies have been on the rise. This is due to an increasingly lax attitude toward premarital s*x.
Earlier billed to face homicide charges, police have now concluded that the 22-year-old single woman will face no charges, deciding she did not initially step forward because she was frightened, and that she gradually had a change of heart and began to tell the truth, said the official, who did not give his name.
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 Saturday in a rental building’s restroom. She said the infant accidentally slipped into the squat toilet and raised the alarm. Yet, she did not initially claim the child was hers.
Firefighters who arrived at the rental building found the infant trapped in an L-shaped section of sewage pipe just below the squat toilet in one of the building’s shared restrooms, a pipe the baby had to be removed from the pipe, using pliers and saws to gently pull apart the 10 centimetres diameter pipe.