China's 'Baby No 59' is returned to mother's family after police decide he fell down toilet by accident

Man believed to be the father has come forward and
will take a paternity test

The Chinese baby rescued from a sewage pipe this week has been returned to his mother’s family after police decided he had fallen down the toilet by accident.

Police arrived at the Pujiang Hospital last night to take the baby to a rural location, office director Chen Padong said. The baby’s 22-year-old mother, who did not step forward initially because she was frightened, will not face criminal charges.

The case transfixed the world when images of the baby’s dramatic two-hour rescue from the outflow pipe of a squat toilet in Zhejiang province in eastern China were broadcast on the internet and on TV.

Rescuers were shown removing the pipe from a ceiling immediately below the toilet, then painstakingly using pliers at the local hospital to gently pull apart the pipe, which was just 10 centimetres in diameter.

The incident prompted a large outpouring of charitable donations and messages of support from the public. The 6lb 2.8oz boy has been taken away from a hospital by the family of the unwed mother and a man believed to be the father, who is awaiting the outcome of a paternity test, local officials said. An official in Pujiang county said that if the man is the father, he is ready to discuss with the woman how to support the baby.

The case was originally seen as attempted murder, and police believed the woman had tried to flush the baby down the toilet. However, police were satisfied that the baby had accidentally slipped down the toilet pipe, as she claimed. They accepted that she was too scared to come forward when the baby was being rescued.

The mother later revealed she became pregnant after a brief sexual relationship with the father, and did not want to bring her family shame and loss of face. Instead, she is believed to have worn loose clothing and wrapped cloth tightly around her stomach to hide the pregnancy.

The landlord of the building in Pujiang county spoke to Zhejiang News and said that it was unlikely she had given birth in the restroom, because there was no evidence of blood. She also said that she was not aware of any recent pregnancies among her tenants.

The ordeal suffered by the infant, named Baby 59 after the incubator in which he was placed, prompted a heated discussion online about the lack of useful sex education in China’s schools.

Unwanted pregnancies have been on the rise because of an increasingly lax attitude toward pre-marital sex in the country. The baby had a low heart rate and minor abrasions on his head and limbs, but was mostly unhurt.

The incident shocked China and led many to express their anger on social networking sites. “What a sin this is! What a poor newborn life! Don’t ever tell him he had such an experience,” wrote Xin de rui la on Sina Weibo. Lao cui wrote: “What the investigation shows is a young girl who got pregnant but who had no money for an abortion or even to go to the hospital. At such a beautiful age, she suffered this painful helpless experience. Whose fault is this? Is it really just a 22-year-old girl’s fault?”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?