In Relationship with RSO. Seeking Advice.

By Ella…

I am currently in a relationship with a person on the registry in Maryland and we are seriously considering starting a family. I want to make the most informed decision I can and I would love to talk to people who may be in a similar situation. I so badly want to make the right decision, and want to hear as many perspectives as I can.
My boyfriend was convicted of distributing child pornography 15 years ago because he had a server that was used to share music and movies (like Napster) but he didn’t realize people were putting child porn onto it. He is a Tier 2, meaning his total time on the registry is 25 years. When he was first placed on the registry it was only 10 years but then Maryland changed the law to make it 25. He completed his probation years ago, so he is allowed to be around children, but of course still cannot go onto school property.

My main fears are honestly for any potential children to be bullied, or encounter interpersonal issues with this. I already understand that in many ways, I will feel like a single parent because I will always be the one to take them to and from school, daycare, etc. I am fine with that. My main fears are honestly when my child wants to have friends over, or birthday parties, etc. I understand we will (probably?) have to have a conversation with the parents of every new friend they want to have over. Which is something we would do- we would want to be open about it instead of letting parents find out on the internet and freak out. But I am so afraid that would mean those parents talking to other parents, who tell their kids not to play with my child. Or my child being made fun of or bullied. Am I just being paranoid?

I try to tell myself that maybe it will happen only every once in a while, but I get so afraid it will be a constant struggle, and that my kids will be ruined for life. I have talked to a few people from my local registry and a local advocacy group, who tell me that they have heard various perspectives- some say it’s not a huge deal, and others say it’s awful. The general consensus I’ve heard is that there are of course struggles, but plenty of people on the SOR have families and children who grow up totally normal and successful. It would be extremely helpful to me to hear what some of you might have to say. Thank you very much.


  1. Viviana

    Hi, I feel like you may be overthinking things.
    I’ve been married to a RSO for 5 years and have a 3 year old. Other than the work & travel restrictions, I’d say we live pretty normal lives. Our son is not yet in school but I don’t think there will be a problem with my husband doing pick ups or drop offs, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Also, we don’t disclose this information voluntarily – these are public records and are available to anyone, so they can do their own research and ask questions if they’d like.

  2. Henryford

    You need to acknowledge the fact that Napster story is BS. You can use file sharing to take files from someone else’s computer, but you cannot add files to someone else’s. He is not being honest with you about the CP so think about that before continuing any relationship

    • Casey Peppin

      In my state the dealing statute reads something like “…knowingly distributed depiction of minors…”, so they have to prove the “knowingly” part of the statute. This does make his claim a bit dubious but not all states may require proof of knowledge for a conviction. regardless, its perfectly understandable for an SO to minimize their offense due to the public’s perception that he can never change or that viewing child pornography necessarily leads to contact offenses. Would you still love him and want to start a family with him if you knew he had knowledge of the child pornography? If yes, make sure he knows that and be open and honest with him about your concerns. In the end, its his job to reassure you. Good luck to you both.

    • RegistrantNotAnOffender

      Yeah when I read that it raised a brow. Sounds like some denial but that’s between him and her.

      Your kids will be okay. It was a non contact sex offense. I have a 2 year old daughter and I’m just never alone with peoples kids. We would disclose if someone wanted to sleep over but regular playdates etc. No.

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