02/15/06 — A sad goodbye: Baby’s plight poignant reminder of real problem

View Archive

A sad goodbye: Baby’s plight poignant reminder of real problem

It probably will be a while before we know the details surrounding the circumstances that brought a newborn baby to the city sewer plant.

It is difficult to think about the possibilities — and even the most innocent explanation is a sad reminder that there are just too many people these days who don’t value human life.

Today, the Goldsboro Police Department held a modest service for the little girl whose parentage is unknown and might never be known.

Financing the funeral arrangements for the little girl is Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home, which provided flowers and a coffin for her burial.

What a touching tribute — and a kind gesture — from a bunch of strangers.

The Police Department and funeral home personnel know what we all should remember, that despite the circumstances of her death, this was a little person whose life had significance if only in the fact that so many will remember her story and mourn her loss.

Her story should also make us think about the number of babies who are born each day to people who are not ready or unwilling to take care of them.

We should also think of the children right now living in abusive homes, and those who are suffering from neglect.

There are just too many parents today who do not appreciate the responsibility they have undertaken and who do not understand what a gift they have been given. It easier to become a parent — and to stay a parent — than it is to drive a car.

And that is the sad lesson that underlies the story of Baby Jane Doe.

There are plenty of reasons to think hard about ways to curb the number of births to unfit parents in this country. There is also a need to examine the whole issue of parental rights in general. When exactly should someone lose his or her right to parent a child?

And there is even more motivation to think about ways to teach young people that there are sometimes unintended consequences to premarital sex and that the responsibility of parenthood is a serious commitment, not a game.

Baby Jane Doe’s story should make us cry a little and think a lot about what kind of world we want, not only for the babies who will come after her, but all of Wayne County’s children.

Addressing the questions her story raises would be a fitting tribute to her short, but important, life.

But all that is for later. Today, we should all grieve a little for a lost little girl.

Published in Editorials on February 15, 2006 9:39 AM