Taking Sweet Naked Bath Photos of Kids Is Every Mom's Prerogative

Say What!? 51

It's a sad world where people can't tell the difference between some innocent bathtime photos and child pornography -- but that seems to be the world we live in, folks. Exercise precaution before you take photos of your kids running around in the buff -- especially if you plan on getting those photos developed at Walmart, which has an "unsuitable print policy." This basically means that photos they find to be unacceptable or criminal can be reported to authorities. And in the case of a couple from Arizona who took pics of their freshly bathed kids -- it meant sex offender status and having their kids taken away from them.

It was 2008 when the couple, A.J. and Lisa Demaree, were reported for taking eight pics of their three kids, ages 5, 4, and 1 1/2, after bathtime. Later, Lisa told ABC News:

Three of the girls are naked, lying on a towel with their arms around each other, and we thought it was so cute.

Apparently Walmart didn't think it was so cute. The Demarees were reported to police. After authorities investigated and found more photos of the kids naked, the couple lost custody of their children for a month, and they were forced onto a sex offenders list. Lisa was also suspended from her teaching job for a YEAR!

More from The Stir: Baby Has Adorable Bathtime Laughing Fit Thanks to Silly Dog (VIDEO)

The couple were later found innocent of all charges. But they're suing Walmart for consumer fraud not advertising its "unsuitable print policy" in stores (it is on the website). Initially, the case was dismissed because Arizona law grants immunity to those who report child abuse without malice. The Demarees are appealing to a higher court.

Reporting child abuse is a very tough thing -- and no one wants to feel that they may be open to a lawsuit if their suspicions turn out to be unfounded. So I can understand why the Demarees aren't getting anywhere -- yet.

But is it really so difficult to tell the difference between child porn and innocent bathtime photos taken by parents? I'm baffled that not one person -- not the store employees, not the police, not child protective services -- could tell the difference?! Am I missing something here?! This isn't the first time a parent's life has been torn apart because of innocent bathtime photos. I mean ... watch the video. Do those photos remotely look like porn?!

I haven't seen all of the photos that were in question -- nor have I ever seen child porn, thank god -- but I have a hard time believing that not one person here let common sense prevail until long after the kids were taken from their parents and their parents were entered into a sex offenders list. Have we all gone mad?

I suppose the best thing for parents to do is never EVER take naked pics of their kids -- or pics of their kids in the bath, or anything. Which is absurd. I mean, what's next? Someone in my Facebook feed just posted a pic of his toddler son sitting on the toilet -- it was funny because he was also reading his iPad. Could he get arrested? Where do you draw the line? Insanity.

Do you take naked pics of your kids?


Image via PhotoMonkey/Flickr

in the news, toddler activities

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rhps2000 rhps2000

It's sad. I took a funny pic of my 4 yr old reaching into the tub with his bottom hanging out and texted it to my hubby "mooning" him. I thought it was funny, but was nervous about it all the same. Just like the pic my hubby took of me nursing my 2 yr old while he was standing and both of us in a huge bubble-filled bath. At the time, a mom had recently had her kid taken away after pics of her nursing her toddler were said to be pornographic. It is sad that we have to be careful of what we do, take pics of, and who we share them with. Esp. when it's our kids we just want to take pics of doing everything they do adorably. :(

nonmember avatar Laina

Reguardless pf of you think naded kiddo pics are ok or not, what EVERYONE should be upset about is these parents had their kids removed from their home and the parents were places on the AZ sex offender registry, yet they never were CONVICTED of anything. It all happened before they even had a chance for a trial...

a.korz a.korz

wow that is ridiculous. i have pictures of my kids in the bathroom, running around naked or just underwear clad on super hot summer days. People have started to go too far when it comes to reporting things to the authorities. we have become a society of arrest now for whatever reason and who cares what happens in the long run. I would be mortified if this had happened to me. devil mini

Kizzy M. Vargas

This is why im glad  i have a printer yes it may take more ink but im glad i got picture paper too! Thats why i will not get my pics at walmart! i have a photo of my daughter of her first bath at home! and yeah i had to edit it to make it suitable but still!

gamma4 gamma4

We have piks of granddaughters first bath...printed at walgreens 5 half years ago...if someone wanted to be silly could def call porn..she was 3 weeks old fully nude and hated getting out

gamma4 gamma4

I think they should be able to sue Walmart for doing something that was not posted ...I agree Walmart is in a position to do what they did I have no problem with the policy just that I needs to be publicly stated!!!

Jamie Garsa Haag

Well, damned if you do, damned if you don't then, huh? I work in child protection, and we get unfounded reports all the time, but that is for our agency to determine through investigation. However, if people just assumed things like this are always innocent, then how will we ever catch the ones that aren't? Not to mention, they would NEVER take custody of the kids if they didn't find some kind of good cause. It has to go through the police, child protection, and then approved by the judge. So, obviously something is missing from this story...

Ihear... IheartTea

This has been a common practice by Walmart & other photo finishing places for a number of years.  If you think something could be misconstrued, it probably will be.  Best to err on the side of caution.  I would not want cops showing up at my door, or taking my kids without my consent. Luckily for me, my kids are adults now.  :-)  But plenty of other people have felt the wrath of CPS & the court system.  Even when innocent, our justice system assumes the worst. 


The problem is that we have in place a no tolerance position & anything can be misconstrued.  Perhaps the person who sees the photos in question has some reservations about what's ok & what's not.  There's a very fine line between child nudity & porn.  I do photography, but I would never shoot a child naked (not even my own) without thinking things through.  Naked photos of babies are usually tolerated.  Naked pics of toddlers or older, even if totally innocent, can lead to authorities being called.  The problem with this is that the authorities are not getting more sex offenders or pedophiles off the streets...they know how to fly under the radar, & do it quiet successfully.  It's the innocent families who get hauled into CPS & court.  By then, that family has been ruined.  :-(  Maybe it's just better to photograph kids with clothes on...

Munique Robinson

The problem is once you're on the sex offender list, it's almost impossible to get back off.  Generally they leave the name on and just list "not convicted" or "aquitted" or something along those lines and a brief explaination of the offense or "crime".  My friend was placed on because he turned 20 two days before his gf turned 17, they'd been together for years and friends since elementary school parents never cared, but her mom said something to him once that turned into an arguement between mom & daughter so mom reported him.  He was aquitted and they are together, but he is still required to register as a sex-offender, just "aquitted of charges"  it's not fair.  I understand being concerned, but look at the rest of the pics being developed?  If some were porn almost all would be.


Meantime, safer to use a home printer, expensive, but worth it...... I'd be afraid some perv would keep a copy of the naked pics of my kids anyways---people are freaks

nonmember avatar Crystal

When my daughter was three, she found an ink pen, and while I was working on the computer, she stripped down and proceeded to ink herself from head to toe. Literally! Even the bottoms of her feet! LOL! She came to me, so proud of her artwork, she stood there, stark naked with the biggest, proudest smile. It was too cute! At the time I was still using a film camera instead of digital. I started to reach for the camera, and stopped. I was concerned the picture would have been flagged. It's a shame that we have to worry about what's acceptable and what's not.

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