In the picture, the family poses in front of a Christmas tree. The child's face is obscured, but the diaper is prominently displayed in the center of the photograph.
"LOOK AT THOSE LEGS!" Daley exclaimed in the beginning of the caption. "Our first family Christmas ... Having Robbie in our lives this year is going to be so magical, our Christmas family traditions will be passed down another generation."
Many comments on the Instagram post, which has garnered nearly 60,000 likes at the time of this article's posting, praised the family and the beautiful scene of a rainbow family during the holidays. The reach of the post, tagged in London, was international. "Cuteness overload !!!" raved Norwegian user @fritzfrilseth. "All the best to the three of you."
However, a few were critical of the photograph, which is labeled in the post as a paid advertisement with Pampers U.K. and Ireland. The next portion of Daley's caption, begun with a heart and same-sex family emoji, explains the marketing purpose of the post.
"Over the past few months and in the run up to Christmas we've been using the Pure Protection nappies from @Pampersuk_ire to keep Robbie comfortable. When the weather gets cold, it can irritate skin and The Pure Protection nappies are made with premium cotton and plant based materials ... and are kind to the skin and soft to the touch.. perfect for snuggles by the Christmas tree #ad."
"Jesus is there anything you won't sell for sponsorship. First pride now child," stated Instagram user @garyashcroft. "Shameless product placement," added @fishtowndan.
Others pointed to the privilege on display in the photograph. There are many legal hurdles that same-sex couples face in adoption in the United States, and surrogacy is an expensive route that is not economically feasible for most members of the LGBTQ community.
"Whilst I admire you both I think this is nothing more than making money for the sake of it... its offensive to gay couples who struggle to make a family. Total loss of respect," stated @jaseceecee.
Commenters on the photograph debated whether including the child in the paid advertising campaign was ethical or exploitive of the infant as well as the greater LGBTQ rights movement. User @afrodite0504 pointed out the historic nature of the campaign and saw it as a win for visibility. "Tom and Lance are first ever same sex parents to represent pampers. So yes I think its important," wrote the user, who reasoned that the money from the campaign would also support the family and the child.
Update: Black responded to the criticism Saturday on Twitter. "I was heartened when a major family brand asked us to be their 1st two-father-family reps. It felt like progress," he stated. "Sad to see some jump on an 'outrage' train manufactured by oft-homophobic UK tabloids. I will keep my ire aimed at those who actively exclude our LGBTQ families."
\u201cI was heartened when a major family brand asked us to be their 1st two-father-family reps. It felt like progress. Sad to see some jump on an \u201coutrage\u201d train manufactured by oft-homophobic UK tabloids. I will keep my ire aimed at those who actively exclude our LGBTQ families.\u201d
— Dustin Lance Black (@Dustin Lance Black)