A British couple accused of abusing their baby have been cleared — but may never regain custody of the child, who was taken from them and adopted by another family.

Karrissa Cox and Richard Carter took their 6-week-old baby to a hospital in 2012 when it suffered bleeding in the mouth. Doctors saw bruising and what they thought were fractures, and Cox and Carter were accused of child cruelty and neglect.

This week, prosecutors dropped the charges after experts said the child had a blood disorder that causes easy bruising.

The couple's lawyer, Michael Turner, said Friday that they "have been spared a criminal conviction and a prison sentence for a crime they never committed. Their life sentence is that they are likely never to see their baby again."