Toilet Pipe Baby Goes Home With Grandparents

Victoria Wei, Beijing Bureau Producer
Toilet Pipe Baby Goes Home With Grandparents

A newborn baby found in a sewer pipe in eastern China has been released from hospital into the care of his maternal grandparents.

The couple reportedly arrived at the hospital where the trapped infant, known as Baby 59 because of his incubator number, was carefully cut out of the 10cm-wide tube after being rescued by firefighters.

The boy, who suffered minor injuries, but was said to be healthy, was discharged on Wednesday night and the grandparents took him home.

Police said no criminal charges would be brought against the mother, who was under investigation for abandonment.

They have tracked down a man believed to be the father of the baby.

He has requested a paternity test and, if the infant is his, is ready to discuss with the mother how to support the child. It is not known if the pair will raise the child together.

Earlier reports had said a man claiming to be the father of the baby had  turned up at the hospital and had left with the child.

The man, who was not named by police, met the 22-year-old mother of the baby last year. She only realised she was pregnant earlier this year.

Denied by the boyfriend, and with no money for an abortion, the unmarried mother, who has also not been named, kept the pregnancy to herself by wrapping up her abdomen with cloth and then covering it with loose clothes.

The woman gave birth to the baby boy on Saturday afternoon when using the squat toilet in the block of flats where she lives in the small town of Pujiang in China’s southeast Zhejiang Province.

She later told police the infant accidentally slipped into the toilet and she tried to rescue him with a mop.

Failing to do so, she flushed the blood away and hurried to inform the landlord of an "abnormal sound" coming from the toilet pipes before changing clothes and leaving the building for work.

Firefighters arrived at the flats and found the infant trapped in an L-shaped section of sewage pipe just below the squat toilet in one of the building's shared bathrooms.

The dramatic birth and rescue of the baby made headlines around the world.

It has also triggered an online debate on China's twitter equivalent with more than 270,000 people commenting on the story.

Most have criticised the cruelty and irresponsibility of the mother, while a small number have been sympathetic to her situation.

One person wrote: "Thank God he lived! It's animal behaviour! He's your own son, how could you be so heartless?!"

Responding before news of the father's emergence, another said: "She's only 22 years old, she's young and inexperienced. Perhaps she has her own difficulties. Thankfully the baby is alive. Where's the father?"

Most of China's vast online users have expressed their support and good wishes for Baby 59.