We've had more than a few "tried to sell the kid on Craigslist" stories floating around the Internet in recent years. Way too many, if you ask me. But there's something about the latest mom charged with trying to adopt out her 3-year-old son via a Craigslist ad that's a bit unusual.
The mom, Stephanie Redus, doesn't sound like your typical jerk mom who would use Craigslist to offload a kid because she doesn't care. I can't get truly enraged at her. If anything, I read the Texas mom's story and I felt ... pity.
The pangs of sympathy don't excuse what she's accused of doing. You just don't put your kid up for adoption on Craigslist, people. Who knows what kind of sicko is out there, just waiting to pounce?
That said, read what Redus' allegedly posted online:
Hi, I’m trying to adopt out my three year old son. I’m not in a good place in my life and don’t feel like I can care for him properly, but I don’t know where to start. If you or know anyone who is interested in caring for him please let me know. I’m a single mom and can’t do this. Thanks, Desperate.
Does that sound like a mom trying to make a quick buck? A mom who really doesn't give two craps about her kid? Notice she repeats the words "care (or caring) for him" twice in there.
Call me a sucker, but Redus sounds ... like a fairly good mom.
Hey, I said fairly. She is charged with trying to arrange a Craigslist adoption.
But I should probably also tell you that Redus is pregnant.
Does that make you feel more sympathetic?
It's HARD out there for parents who are feeling overwhelmed. There are "safe haven" laws, but in most places, they don't extend much past a baby's birth. Even finding a good babysitter to watch your kid for a few hours so you can get a handle on things is tough in this economy. As a recent report shows, the price of childcare has DOUBLED in the past 25 years.
Parents struggling with toddlers (or older kids) either have supportive family and friends to help out or ... what? Who will come to their aid when they're swimming as hard as they can and feeling like the undertow keeps pulling them in?
If we really want to put an end to the "kid being sold on Craigslist stories," maybe we need to look at why they keep happening.
So yes, we punish these parents who turn to Craigslist ... and we do something about the total lack of resources for struggling single parents out there.
That is how we make society better.
Do you feel sympathetic for this mom's plight? What do you think should be done with her?
Image via Lake Houston Police