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Tattoos, Body Piercing for Kids: Parental Right?
Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
Topic suggested by LovelyChelle8:

Last week a Georgia mother was arrested after allowing her 10-year-old son to get a tattoo of rememberance to his older brother who has passed away. Tattooing anyone under the age of 18 is against the law in Georgia.

Should parents be allowed to get tattoos or body piercings for their children? Is that a parental right or something the government should control?
IrwinsLady responded:
think as long as the tattooist or piercer asks for a paper noterized legally and a copy of their birth certificate it should be fine. i took my step sister to get her nose pierced when she was 14 and thats what they asked for.
Lisa38RA responded:
I think it is to much when the law or government can get involved in such a personal decision. I could see if for some reasone there was child abuse invoved but I would think it would have to go a whole lot further than a tatoo.
kimmie38x responded:
While I don't really agree with allowing a 10 year old to get a tattoo, I have allowed my 15 year old daughter to get both her nose and belly button pierced (she was 14 at the time). The tattoo shop just asked for a notarized letter from me. The government should have absolutely no say in whether I can allow my child to get a piercing or a tattoo.....
An_242933 responded:
That happened in Georgia, you say? Here are a few more laws I found for Georgia (on the internet, mind you, so they may or may not be true):

  • Acworth: All citizens must own a rake.
  • A Kennesaw, Ga. law makes it illegal for every homeowner not to own a gun, unless you are a convicted felon, conscientious objector or disabled.
  • Atlanta: Against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp; One man may not be on another man's back.
  • Columbus: Can't cut off a chicken's head on Sunday; It is illegal to carry a chicken by it's feet down Broadway on Sunday.
  • Gainesville: Chicken must be eaten with the hands.
  • In Columbus, Georgia it is illegal to sit on one's porch in an indecent position.
  • In Georgia, movie houses that want to show films on Sunday must reserve one showing a month for religious material.
  • It is illegal in Georgia to use profanity in the presence of a corpse.
  • In Quitman, It is illegal for a chicken to cross the road.
  • It is illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless the shades are down.
  • It is illegal to say "Oh, Boy" in Jonesboro.
  • It is illegal to take a bath of orange peel.
  • Kennesaw: Every head of household must possess a firearm of some kind.
  • Marietta: Though it is illegal to spit from a car or bus, citizens may spit from a truck.
  • Members of the state assembly cannot be ticketed for speeding while the state assembly is in session.
  • Signs are required to be written in English.
  • St. Mary's: No spitting on the sidewalk is permitted after dark.

Aside from the government spending way too much time and money invading my right to privacy (perhaps whether that right actually exists should be another topic for this board), I think the ultimate question one has to ask regarding a parent's right or not to get tattoos or body piercings for their child is whether a child is in fact the responsibility of the parent in all respects until the parent causes harm to the child (in which case the State generally takes over)?

Now, if the child went kicking and screaming, and was forced to be tattooed or pierced over their objections, then I would argue "harm" had occurred.

If your argument is that the child doesn't know any better, and will regret having acquiesced to their parent's permission, then the following should also be against the law:

  • a parent allowing their child to skip college, and instead work in a restaurant while they "find themselves"
  • a parent allowing their child to major in home economics instead of computer programming
  • a parent allowing their child to not exercise
  • a parent allowing their child to eat sweets when they are feeling down
  • a parent allowing their child to dwell on their first crush as actually being both the end of their love life and the end of world
  • a parent allowing their child to not ask the girl out because they don't know what to say get the point

Aristotle said that even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. This one sounds like a little altering would do Georgia good.

(because the kid who always fell for the "why did the chicken cross the road" joke should not be allowed to make the state's laws)
wonderingaboutthis responded:
Again the government sticking their noses into people's personal choices and freedoms - they have no business legislating decisions that are between parent and child, husband and wife, etc.

That being said, this decision should involve three parties - the child asking for the tattoo/piercing, the parent or legal adult guiardian, and the tattoo artist/body piercer. Any reputable tattoo artist/piercer has a responsibility to talk to both the child and the parent first. They need to be reasonably comfortable and sure that the child is the one who is wanting the tattoo/piercing, and that the parent is agreeable and simply giving their permission. Then it's OK. But if there is even a hint that the child is being pierced/tattooed against their will or simply because the parent/guardian wants it done, the artist has every right/responsibility to refuse the service.

And contrary to what the general public's idea of tattoo artists/body piercers may be, most are responsible and discerning in this way. I have three tattoos from an excellent shop in our town, and know the owner as a good friend. But when my wife wanted her clit hood pierced at this shop, the owner asked me to leave the room, then she asked my wife if the decision was hers alone and not under any pressure from me. Both of us totally appreciated that - and that's how it should be.

My personal opinion is the 10-year old boy is a bit young for a permanent tattoo, however, taken in the context of a memorial to his late brother, I would have made an exception if the boy were my son. I carry a memorial tattoo to my deceased younger brother on my arm myself. The authorities iin Georgia way overstepped their boundaries on this one - it's just plain none of their business.
jenkoelenko responded:
Personally, I think that particular choice may not have been the best one (mother in GA), however, not my son and not my situation. I think he is for SURE on the young side, and that having a growing child getting a tattoo has the potential to be VERY problematic as they're growing up. Even when adults get tattoos (in certain areas) if that area changes (lose or gain a fair amount of weight) then the tattoo can end up looking distorted. Children's bodies will change more than an already developed man or woman's body will. All of that being said, as long as the tattoo artists are making sure that no one is being coerced, the state HAS NO BUSINESS monitoring that. I agree w/ a PP - tattoo artists are really good (general statement, I know...) about checking that everything's okay, and that if a kid wants to get something done its between 3 people: the child that wants whatever-it-is, the parent/guardian of that child, and that tattoo artist. notice that government is NOWHERE to be found in that. If they're going to start monitoring all of this really closely, where will the line be drawn? At what age can the consent to what specifically? What about ear piercings on babies? where do you draw the line?
jis4judy responded:
well this is interesting I took my daughter to get her ears pierced
when she was 9 years old she begged me for the ear piercing
It took 6 months of constant begging for me to give in ,,
I did;t even have my ears done until a few weeks after hers ,,
there was nothing to sign or anything like that ..But I live in Ma
I do think it is up to the parent to decide.
I hate tatoos though too permanent

Oh BTW all the older teen agers in line let my little girl go first they were more nervous than she was LOl
Hugs Judy:)
shelby_zellner responded:
well all in all if a child 7 and up wants the tattoo (if its something logical, or of meaning?), and a piercing it should be the parents right to do so if the child wants it...some people just want their kids to be happy...the gov. already runs so much, why should it be able to control our families now???
JenPBDBP2 responded:
I believe very strongly that bodily intregrity is a basic human right. No one has the right to decide to modify someone else's body without that person's consent.

If this child wanted the tattoo for whatever reason, that's ok. It is their body. They can choose to have it removed later on.

What makes me angry are people who decide they have a right to make permanent body modifications to children just because they're parents. I refer to piercings and circumcisions specifically. It's not their body, they do not have that right.
Yes, it's legal but that doesn't make it moral as many pro-lifers are wont to say.
shelby_zellner replied to JenPBDBP2's response:
jkdfhiwei responded:
I think that bull kids shouldn't bne allowed to get body piercings or tattoo that is dicusting to human kind. Kids who get that should be disiplined to at least a life sentence in jail and the parents should get death.

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