There is no perfect way to be a parent, and everyone's rules are not the same for fostering a child. That being said, when a parent does something that seems wrong to the vast majority of people, that parent's possible error in judgment takes the spotlight -- and the primary concern is the safety and well-being of the child.
A photograph taken in New Zealand is causing quite an uproar around the world. The photo at the center of the controversy is of an infant asleep in a car seat locked alone inside a car. A note, seemingly written from the baby's perspective, is attached to the chest and reads, "my mums in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything." There is a phone number written at the end.
A couple who saw the baby in the car talked to the New Zealand Herald. "We waited there for a little bit, wondering if the mum was just going to be two seconds and come back," the man said. "And my wife said, 'I'm not going in without someone being here with the baby.'" The couple also noted that the baby did look well taken care of and that they know how difficult it can be to get an infant to go to sleep.
Someone did eventually call the mom, and the picture was uploaded to Facebook, where it quickly went viral due to people's outrage.
It is illegal in New Zealand for a parent or guardian to leave a child under 14 years of age alone for an unreasonable time or in unreasonable conditions. However, police are not looking for the mother, because no one has filed a formal complaint. Justin Rakena, senior sergeant for Porirua Police, said, "If they do call us, we'll be acting on it."
[Related: Buckle Up During Pregnancy?]