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.