The case of a Utah couple charged with a crime for photos they took of a father kissing his naked baby is far from clear cut and simple. It will take a while to fully understand the rights and wrongs of photographing your naked baby. These particular Utah parents were arrested and deported, and others could run into similar problems.
What happed to Alma Vasquez and Sergio Diaz-Palomino this past spring has brought up questions about how safe it is, not just for children, but for their parents, to post naked baby pictures online. Or, in this case, to send them to Walgreens to be developed, reports MSNBC. The Utah couple sent pictures to the local Walgreens which showed Diaz-Palomino kissing his son's buttocks and allegedly his genitals after the couple bathed the infant. A worker flagged the pictures for police who arrested the couple. Although charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual abuse were dropped, both parents were deported.
Naked baby pictures that were once considered harmless, like bathtub time, or shots of kids running naked through the sprinklers, are now considered possible child porn. Some parents are now rethinking posting baby pictures online with sites such as Flicker or Facebook because they are worried about who could see them. Then there is the danger of harmless pictures being viewed as anything but harmless by authorities. Child pornography can be legally defined as the production, possession or distribution of pornographic materials that exploit or portray a minor. Obviously, this definition could catch a wide range of images in its net.
"What [parents] might think are normal pictures could be seen the wrong way," Amy Adler, the Emily Kempin professor of law at New York University, told MSNBC. "As a legal matter parents should be extremely cautious. I hate that. I think it is a shame."
Cautious may be a shame, but at this time, it is the best way to proceed. No matter how innocent and happy you may view your family pictures, the web is a public forum. And the public, be they the authorities or more sinister elements, may not view your pictures the same way you do.
- Family Pics May Lead to Utah Couple's Deportation (ABC News)
- Child Pornography (FindLaw)
- Bath Photos & Wal-Mart: What is Child Pornography? (FindLaw's Blotter)