(BEIJING) — Chinese police have found the mother of the newborn who was rescued from a sewage pipe and, according to reports, will not press charges against her, calling the toilet birth an accident.
The unmarried mother, 22, had kept her pregnancy a secret and said she gave birth unexpectedly while over a toilet Saturday, Agence France-Presse reported.
Authorities did not reveal the mother’s identity.
The state-run, Hangzhou-based tabloid DuShiKuaiBao reported that the mother was on the scene for the entire rescue that was all captured on video. She confessed to have given birth to the child — now known as Baby 59, after the hospital incubator in which he is recovering — only when police confronted her.
Authorities discovered baby toys and blood-stained toilet paper in her rented room in the building where Baby 59 was rescued.
A separate state-run news source, Jinhua-based Zhezong News, reported that the mother is a high school graduate and restaurant worker who said she became pregnant after a one-night stand. She apparently could not afford an abortion, which is widely available in China, so she tried to hide the pregnancy from her parents.
While delivering the baby in the building’s communal toilet, the woman said, she tried to catch the baby but he slipped through the hole of the squat commode. Baby 59 was discovered with his umbilical cord and placenta still attached, according to Zhezong News.
The woman said she alerted her landlord of the trapped baby after she could not pull the child out, Zhezhong News said.
“Our investigations showed it was an accident,” a local police officer who declined to be named told the AFP.
Baby 59′s mother remains in serious condition as a result of complications from delivering the baby herself. The baby, despite his ordeal, is reportedly healthy and recovering in incubator No. 59, AFP reported.
It’s unclear whether the mother will be able to keep the child.
While sex remains taboo as a topic of discussion between generations, there is an increasing lax attitude toward it among the so-called post-90s generation (those born after 1990). In a survey conducted by China’s prestigious Tsinghua University last year, results showed that more than 70 percent of China’s young adults have had pre-marital sex.
Unwanted pregnancies among young adults are increasingly prevalent in China because there is no sex education offered in Chinese schools, let alone any talk of contraception.
A 2010 government report issued by a working committee under the Chinese State Council reported that only 4.4 percent of unmarried young people have proper knowledge of sex. On top of that, only 14.4 percent of that sample knew anything about AIDS prevention.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Evan McKirdy, Tim Hume and James Masters, CNN
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN
Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN