Amy Sue Harwood, of Boca Raton, was on on and off for five years but never posted pictures of her sons on her profile.
According to IBISWorld Inc., the market's research firm, daters ages 18 to 29 are the largest group on the free sites, while the bulk of daters using paid romance websites are 25 to 54.
On the blog singlemommyhood.com, one poster said she tried online dating with and without her child's pictures online and it didn't make a difference.
"That was something I decided I wouldn't do for privacy reasons.
When you're a single mom dating, you just never know.'' She met her boyfriend, Adam Starr, 42, a real estate agent, on the site for Jewish singles. "How is it any different than taking your child into public with you?
Still, its prevalence has generated controversy among commenters in chat rooms, websites and blogs, as well as in single parents' groups.Opponents warn such photos can attract pedophiles and invade their children's privacy, while supporters contend the pictures provide a more well-rounded picture of who they are.