By Michele Fried
I was one of those who chose not to watch the Casey Anthony trial. But I know so many people who did. Emotional reactions to the verdict crept onto Facebook and Twitter and several blogs. I am not going to weigh in on the case or verdict but simply address something I have been wondering about.
But before I do I wish to point out that a number of the emotional reactions shared online came from those “touched by adoption.” I often see this when we learn about child abandonments or finding deceased infants in garbage dumpsters. We all are affected by the news, but those who made an adoption plan, who found the strength to truly be responsible for their child and create a plan for their child’s future, get angry and very sad when they hear these reports. I have also noticed that adoptive parents, especially those still hoping to adopt, question how could this happen? Why wasn’t the option of support services, intervention, foster care or adoption ever discussed? Wasn’t there anyone in the parents’ or child’s life who noticed something wrong? Wasn’t there anyone who could have stepped in earlier?
Putting aside whether Casey Anthony was ever fit to parent or not is not the only judgment call here, but rather where was everyone else?
We should think what our role in life should be? Whether we are parenting or not, as adults, shouldn’t we be protecting the children in our life? Isn’t it also our responsibility if we witness the neglect or abuse of a child, whether we are related or not, to step in, to call the social service system and make a report?
Did Cindy Anthony, a mother and grandmother to Caylee, choose not the “see” and thus not step in and intervene before it all went terribly wrong? What about neighbors, friends and other family members?
By choosing to do nothing, we are still making a choice. We chose to do nothing.