Woman 'Abandons' Baby Niece with Strangers to Go Out to Party

Gillian Sisley

Whose job is it to organize childcare for an infant?

Coordinating childcare can be a really cumbersome experience, especially since the pandemic made it even harder to secure affordable and accessible childcare for many parents in the US.

In cases where parents couldn't find childcare to bridge the gap for when they needed it, many of them turned to family members in order to ensure someone was there to care for their child. But what if a family member is not entirely on board to look after a child?

This situation was highlighted in a recent online post in which an aunt leaves her infant niece with some strangers so that she can attend a social commitment she had, leaving the parents of the baby furious with her.

Whose job is it to organize childcare for an infant?

A Reddit post published on September 19th, reported on by Ashley Gale from Newsweek, has gone viral with 16,700 upvotes and 3,200 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she has a 1-year-old niece named Ava, and she will sometimes babysit her niece for free when her sister needs the help. The author's sister asked a few weeks ago if she could babysit her niece for an anniversary, and the author agreed.

However, the author recently learned that her college friends were going to be in town so she wanted to see them. She reached out to her sister a week in advance to let her know she would no longer be able to babysit, and that her sister needed to ‘make alternate arrangements’. And when she never received a text back from her sister, she assumed that everything was fine.

But on the night of her sister's anniversary, her sister dropped off the 1-year-old at the author's house. The sister said she was leaving her niece there as 'originally planned' and that 'family is more important than silly college friends'. The sister then told the author that she should 'step up to her responsibility as an aunt' and look after her niece more often.

What classifies as child abandonment?

Before the author could argue with her sister, the woman ran off and wouldn't answer her phone. The author goes on to explain that she doesn't have any other family nearby to help, so she called up a friend who is a frequent and well-known babysitter.

The friend was happy to help, and so the author texted her sister that she left her niece with the friend and gave her the address where she could collect her daughter. However, later that night the author's sister started messaging her accusing her of 'endangering her niece' by dumping the niece with 'a complete stranger'.

Ever since, the author has been receiving angry text messages and calls from other family members saying that she was in the wrong for ‘abandoning’ the niece with her friend. However, the author feels that she did the best she could under the circumstances, considering she gave her sister advance notice that she could no longer babysit.

What do you think? Was the author responsible in how she handled the situation, considering her niece was dumped on her doorstep when she wasn't available to babysit? Or should the author have just cancelled her plans with her college friends and looked after her niece, and to not do so does indeed classify as ‘child abandonment’?

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