The controversial Florida woman is open to having more children, a source close to her tells PEOPLE

By Steve Helling
September 27, 2019 11:56 AM

Over the past several months, Casey Anthony started going out more, and is trying to put her notorious past behind her — but a source close to her says she’s reassessing her life and trying to decide her next move.

The Florida woman, who was infamously acquitted of murder in 2011 in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, has lived a low-key, uneventful life in the South Florida home of one of the private investigators who worked on her case.

But now, the 33-year-old is worried about her future. “She feels like her biological clock is ticking,” says a source very close to Anthony. “She knows she’s getting older. She’s not the young girl who everyone saw on trial. She’s in her 30s, wondering what to do next, and hoping that she can find some meaning in her life.”

Anthony hasn’t completely discounted the possibility of having more kids, though in a 2017 interview with the Associated Press, she said she was unlikely to have more children. “If I am blessed enough to have another child — if I’d be dumb enough to bring another kid into this world knowing that there’d be a potential that some little snot-nosed kid would then say something mean to my kid — I don’t think I could live with that,” she said.

But 18 months later, Anthony softened her stance — and said she was open to having children.

During a 2018 appearance on Dr. Oz, Anthony’s father, George Anthony, hoped that his daughter could someday be a good mother.

“If she is granted a chance to have another child, I hope that child is strong, grows up to be a worthwhile part of society and, the person that she has the child with, I hope they are going to love her and that child immensely,” George Anthony said. “I hope whatever life she has left that she makes something positive happen in her life.”

Anthony began dating a man last year, but the relationship has cooled. “She wasn’t ready to settle down,” the source says.

But now, Anthony is considering what her future could be. “Marriage, family, the white picket fence,” says the source. “In some ways, that’s very appealing to Casey. She’d want things to be less dysfunctional than the family she had growing up, but she likes the idea of stability.”

AP Photo/Joshua Replogle

If she starts a family, Anthony will have to overcome a controversial past, that includes the 2008 disappearance of Caylee, who was missing for 31 days before Anthony reported her missing at the insistence of her mother. After a worldwide search for the missing toddler, the girl’s remains were found in a wooded lot less than one-third of a mile from the Anthony family home.

Anthony’s 2011 trial was a media circus, with at least 40 million people watching at least some of the testimony, according to Nielsen Research. She was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges on July 5, 2011 — but convicted of four counts of lying to police.

RELATED: Casey Anthony Is ‘Bored’ 5 Years After Acquittal, Source Says: Inside Her Life Now

After her controversial acquittal, she was described by a Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman as “one of the most hated women in America” — a moniker that stuck.

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RELATED: Casey Anthony Is Not Sure If She’s ‘Dumb Enough’ to Have Another Kid

In 2012, Anthony and her mother, Cindy, began wearing matching necklaces that contained Caylee’s ashes in small vials. PEOPLE confirmed last year that Anthony no longer wears hers.

But her controversial past doesn’t bother Anthony anymore. “It’s ancient history, as far as she is concerned,” says the source. “It was a very dark period in her life, and she is a different person. So she’s ready for something new. If that includes children, she’s ready for that.”

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