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GoFundMe Apologizes for Deeming Premature Baby Photo 'Too Graphic'

The Short of It

After first refusing to place a photo of a premature baby in its directory because it might be offensive to some viewers, the fundraising site GoFundMe reverses its decision and apologizes to the family.

The Lowdown

After mom, Christina Hinks, was diagnosed with placenta failure, she had an emergency C-section 13 weeks early on June 30 to bring her son Jacob into the world. He weighed just 1 pound, 5 ounces and soon developed serious complications, including dangerous kidney failure.

Because his stay in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago will likely be long, his parents took unpaid leave from their jobs to be with him. To help with expenses, a friend set up a crowd-funding page on GoFundMe.

"Soon after it went up, my friend's brother-in-law tried to search for Jacob's page, but it wasn't in the site directory," Christina told Yahoo Parenting.

A call to GoFundMe revealed why: Despite looking like most photos of premature babies, with a breathing mask and translucent skin, staffers at the site deemed Jacon's photo too "graphic" and potentially offensive.

For days, Christina asked the site to change its mind and include Jacob's page in their search directory with no results. So the family turned to local media to share their story and replaced the photo of Jacob with a different family shot. The media coverage led to a call from a GoFundMe vice president.

"He apologized up and down and assured us that Jacob's photo was not too graphic," Christina said. GoFundMe also issued a formal apology and donated $10,000 to Jacob's fund.

The Upshot

"We are happy to help the Hinks family in their time of need, just as thousands of other people do every day on GoFundMe," said GoFundMe media director Kelsea Little in a statement to Yahoo Parenting.

The crowd-funding site is currently reviewing its photo policy.

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