Photos of Jubilee Shalom Duggar, who was miscarried earlier this month, have been stirring controversy after the photos were taken from a private memorial service, posted on Twitter and reported by TMZ.
The Duggar family, stars of the TLC show "19 Kids and Counting," was expecting Jubilee as their 20th child. The family held a private ceremony last week in memorial of the stillborn baby. Attendees reportedly called the photos – mostly of the stillborn baby’s hands and feet – tasteful and moving.
After being leaked, however, the photos have some expressing outrage.
Grief counselor Allison Daily says that people grieve in different ways and the Duggars’ decision to take photos is an acceptable outlet for their grief.
"There are some people who will say, 'Oh my gosh, why would she do that?' " Daily told the LA Times. "I feel like no one should judge unless they have been in that situation. It’s one of the hardest, most awful things that can happen to a parent. They have to decide what is right for them."
The photos include one of Jubilee’s hand being held by her mother’s index finger – which is now being featured on the Duggar family website. Another photo showing Jubilee's tiny feet contains the caption: "There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."
Comments from around the Internet reflect mixed reactions to the Duggars' photos.
"Posting a photo of a miscarried baby is not a trend among grieving families. Now stop using this as a publicity stunt for your TV show," wrote Ted Edwards under the LA Times article.
Some took a wider approach to the subject.
"I don't see that publicizing the miscarriage and the funeral was any worse than publicizing the family for reality tv. The main problem is the lack of any concept of privacy, especially by parents for their kids," wrote a user named "sideswiththekids" on a Washington Post article.
Many women who have experienced miscarriages have been speaking out in support of the Duggars. Ultimately, these women say, the loss is unique and so unique methods of grieving are justified.
"To me, she is a role model in how we should handle the loss," a reader named Daily agreed. "In the past, too many people pushed [news of a miscarriage] down and decided to make it go away and it causes depression and you never really finish the process of grieving. But this child was part of her life. I think it's a beautiful thing that she did."