The Chinese newborn that was rescued from a sewage pipe after being born in a toilet was released to the custody of his maternal grandparents late Wednesday, NBC News reports.
"We just know that the family came yesterday, accompanied by county public security officers, and took away the baby," an unnamed hospital official told the British newspaper Telegraph.
Jinhua City police said its unlikely that the 22-year-old mother of the baby boy, known as No. 59, will face criminal charges because authorities concluded the child fell into the toilet accidentally, local officials and media reports said on Thursday. Initially, she refused to claim the baby. A man, who may be the baby’s father, has requested a paternity test, the Associated Press reports. If the test comes back positive, the man said he'd discuss plans with the mother to support the child.
The boy's release on Thursday raised conflicting reports as to where the baby would go. Some reports claimed the baby would be released to the care of his mother and the man claiming to be his father. Officials haven't publicly released names of those connected to the case.
On Monday, video footage of the two-hour rescue first shown on Chinese news stations spread around the world. The baby weighed 6 pounds, 2.8 ounces and was treated for minor bruises and jaundice before being discharged, an official at the Pujiang People’s Hospital said.
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The woman kept her pregnancy a secret and gave birth to the child in a shared toilet in an apartment complex. The baby purportedly slipped from her hands after delivery and fell down the toilet’s 4-inch sewage pipe. The mother admitted the child was hers two days after the dramatic rescue. She came forward after police discovered baby toys and bloody tissues in her apartment, AP reports.
Duan Wanjin, a criminal lawyer based in Xi'an, said the police made a mistake not prosecuting the mother.
"The local police may have considered the woman was still young and did not have any malice, and have come to the decision from the human perspective, but it sends a terrible signal to the public," Duan said.