Childrearing

GoFundMe Hid A Family’s Fundraising Campaign Because Premature Baby’s Photo Was ‘Too Graphic’

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5219091_1438700717.0245Having a premature baby is extremely difficult for anybody, especially when the process leads to a pile of seemingly insurmountable medical bills. But GoFundMe added insult to injury this week when it rejected a photo for a fundraising campaign because the premature baby’s photo was too graphic and might offend people.

Jacob Hinks was born 13 weeks premature and weighed only a pound and a half. Faced with unpaid leave and mounting medical expenses, Jacob’s family started a GoFundMe campaign to raise donations, but then they got a message back from GoFundMe saying the campaign site had not been made public because the photo they included of Jacob was “too graphic” and might offend some viewers.

“They responded right away and said, ‘Unfortunately, we never published it because your son’s image (was) too graphic and too inappropriate for our viewers to look at,” Jacob’s mother, Christina Hinks, said to NBC.

Jacob is a beautiful little baby, and he had no wounds or anything visible. He was just tiny and surrounded by tubes and wires, as is often the case for premature babies. There was nothing offensive about it. GoFundMe suggested that the Hinks use a photo of Jacob with his parents, but they did not even have a photo like that because Jacob was too small and sick to hold. The family was crushed, in part because being told a photo of one’s baby is offensive is not going to make any parent feel good, and in part because the rejected photo meant that Jacob’s GoFundMe page could only be accessed by people who had the direct link to the page, which made fundraising much more difficult.

According to NBC, the Jacob’s parents were able to switch their photo to one of them holding Jacob, and at that point GoFundMe made the campaign public. The campaign seems to be doing well now, but the fact that the original photo was denied is utterly ridiculous. There is nothing graphic or offensive about a photo of a premature baby, and that’s a horrible thing to say to parents with a baby in the NICU.

While having the photo of Baby Jacob denied and called disturbing was probably very hurtful for the family, the campaign seems to be working in the family’s favor, because the coverage has drummed up a lot more attention for their campaign than they might otherwise have received. GoFundMe even posted the updated campaign on the GoFundMe front page for maximum views and contributed $10,000.

(Photo: GoFundMe/BabyJacobFamily)