Parents arrested for tattooing their kids

A Georgia couple face cruelty to children charges for giving six of their kids, ages 10 to 17 small homemade cross tattoos with an old tattoo machine and used guitar strings, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The couple says they didn't do anything wrong -- that their children asked for the body art to look like mom and dad, and they obliged. They're out of jail now, and still don't know why this is such a big deal.

But it is, according to Georgia law. It prohibits tattoos on children under 18 from from anyone other than a licensed professional.

Moms were discussing the ethics of tattoos and parental involvement in Answers. Lots of CafeMoms have tattoos, and have no problem with their kids displaying body art ... when they are grown up enough to decide that for themselves.

But, really? A 10 year old making this decision? I think of myself and 10 and thank my lucky stars my parents said "no" to pretty much everything I asked for.

"The reason they need to be 18 is because children are not capable of making a grounded decision on something that will affect them the rest of their lives," says on CafeMom member in the CafeMom Answers thread. "Why don't we give them each a pack of cigs and a glass of wine, too. It won't hurt them."

The dad who forced his 7 year old to get a gang tattoo against his will also comes to mind, here.

Sure, the media is probably blowing this way out of proportion, but it raises an interesting discussion about how much control a parent has over the lives of their children. The Georgia authorities classifies this a matter of health and safety, and maybe a homemade machine wasn't the wisest choice. But as dumb as it was, the intent was not to hurt the kids.

Was the law was right to intercede here, or should parents have more control over the lives of their children in non-health and safety matters?

Are children, say under 13, old enough to decide to get a tattoo without a parent's permission?

Written by Cynthia Dermody for Big Kid Buzz in CafeMom's Big Kid

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