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Mom Arrested for Allowing Son to Get Tattoo

Mom Arrested for Allowing Son to Get Tattoo

What would you do if one of your children wanted to tattoo himself in memorial to a sibling who had died?

A Georgia mom was arrested for just that  allowing her 10-year-old son to get a tattoo in honor of his brother, on his arm. The boy's 12-year-old brother died after being hit by a car two years ago.

In the state of Georgia, it is illegal for minors to receive tattoos. The flabbergasted mom was charged with "misdemeanor cruelty and being a party to a crime." She says she didn't know the act was illegal. "It’s not like he was asking me, ‘Can I get Sponge Bob?' He asked me [for] something that’s in remembrance of his brother. How can I say no?” 


Read the whole story (ABCNews)

Do you think parents should have the right to consent to a tattoo for their children? 

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Join The Conversation
silviagomez silviagomez 5 years
It's so easy to judge parents these days! We are not in her shoes, her life,her heart, her mind, how is she coping with the loss of her other child and to denie this child anything would have been very hard for this mother. I have learnt my lesson not to judge anyone. How people cope loss are very different. How people raise children are very different. In everyone's eye's she is an unfit mother but how distrasught was her heart and to hear this from her son would have moved her heart even more. May God help us raise our children and spend our time with them instead of other things.
ChristineAdrowMaddox ChristineAdrowMaddox 5 years
Don't get me wrong! While I disagree with kids getting tatoos, I believe local and national government interfere in the lives of families too much. I mean these parents have to get up and go to work and deal with attitudes at work, struggle with everyday life issues and raise their kids and keep them fed and clothed. No one is nowhere to be found when all this is going on, but there is always someone waiting to tell you, you have broken a law in dealing with your children. I say put your money where your mouth is when I'm short on my light bill, the rent or the kids need new shoes or clothing, then you might have some say about what I should or should not do when it comes to my kids!
SamanthaRadford SamanthaRadford 5 years
I was 17 when I got my first tattoo, so slightly under age and I had a few done before my 18th birthday & to be perfectly honest 13 years later there are a few I wish I hadn't had done. Now I appluad this boys choice is wanting a tattoo in memory of his brother, that is not an image that he is likely to ever regret BUT he should of waited to have it done until he was 16 minimum and the mother could of supported him with his desire without allowing an actual tattoo to be done on hi , if I had been in her shoes then I would of suggested getting in touch with different artists to have images drawn up of a future tattoo so he has something to put up on him wall & know that one day he can make it a permanent image on his skin bug then we are all forgetting this mother lost her son so she may not be thinking straight & could if been so overwhelmed by her sons guesture that she made a mistake, luckily tattoos can be lasted off so when he is 18 it can be removed & redone once he has finished growing.
ShermonaPowers ShermonaPowers 5 years
I believe there has been a incredible amount of pointing fingers from ivory towers from the comment that I have read. What it comes down to is that we can speculate till the cows come home. But unless we have been perfect parents who have never made a questionable decision regarding our children, we should not judge. There is not a handbook on raising children. It is strange to me how so many of you jumped at the opportunity to question the type of parent she is. This is one moment in her many years of child rearing, and this one act means she is a bad mother? Do I agree with the decision? No. Would I have done it? No. I could give my 12 year old permission to get a drivers license, that doesn't mean the DMV will let him get one. We are not the same people, and I have known parents who have done actual harm with potentially fatal consequences. Let us focus on kids that really need legal intervention. I don't even see how this story is news worthy. It is unfortunate what passes for news.
LeahMcMurray LeahMcMurray 5 years
What's the big deal? If he were a girl she could have an abortion and not even tell the parents. Now THAT is something to be outraged about!
ChristieBurrows95207 ChristieBurrows95207 5 years
honestly its not about the mental maturity its about the fact that this child has a hell of a lot of growing yet to go, did they not think of that? you wont even be able to see what it is in 10 years time! its a lovely idea and understand why he would want it but as a mother you have to learn to say no, the law is the law for a reason and the law says 18 years old
sargentdonna sargentdonna 5 years
Who is the parent in this situation !!!!!!! That mom needs therapy !!!!!!!!
CarolynConley CarolynConley 5 years
The problem with common sense is that it's not so "common" anymore. This mother wants to set a precedence that as long as a parent can come up with a sob story and the child doesn't want a cartoon, that it is acceptable for an elementary school age child to have tattoos. Children at that age are easily persuaded, impulsive, and products of their environments. This is why laws are in place to protect them. If his mother was in her right mind, she could have come up with variety of creative, tasteful, and age-appropriate ways for both of them to honor this memory. The fact that she agreed to "brand" her remaining son seems to be about her inability to cope or say no in the interest of her child. Any parent that would allow their 10 year old child to get a tattoo has a sense of urgency and fear that too much time might risk their child to heal, forget, or have a different perspective. It seems like she desperately wanted to make sure that her son had a daily, permanent reminder so that her other son's memory could live on. She not only agreed to a tattoo, but in a place that would be visible to the world so her son could forever be an ambassador of her deceased son's memory. Sensible parents do not try to live vicariously through their small children and respect them with the benefit of time to make their own choices.
LisaRein98245 LisaRein98245 5 years
I don't think any 12 yr old should get a tattoo. He is way too young to make that type of decision. Also, he is still growing, as will the tattoo. It could get misshapen. I would have told him to wait till he is at least 16. I lost my daughter in 2007, she was killed in a car crash, my stepson has been asking since then. When this happened he was 10, he is now 14 and still is being told he needs to wait till he's 18.
JackieJames67696 JackieJames67696 5 years
I have no problem with children getting tattoos as a memorial. I do however believe that they need to be old enough. When my grandfather died my son was devastated, you see my son is the first born great-grandchild in our family. My grandfather passed away in May of 2009, in November of 2009 I got a memorial tattoo to help me heal. My son was 14 at the time he wanted one on his arm, I told him he had to wait until he was 16. My son continued to ask for the tattoo so when he was 15 I allowed him to get a cross and an in memory of our grandfather. He said it helped. I have since allowed him another tattoo on his back for his 16th birthday and we are planing another on for his 17th. I have tattoos and each one means something special to me, so my rules for my son are: I must approve and it has to mean something very special to him. I think 10 is too young just because a child is still growing which can distort the tattoo later on which will require more work or even a cover up. Just my thoughts.
annBatteen annBatteen 5 years
I see nothing wrong with this. if the boy is mature enough to handle it that is between him and his parents. The state needs to worry about real crime and leave this family alone. I have also lost a child and if my other children had wanted to get a tattoo like i did i probally would have let them too.
KimberlyAnderson32476 KimberlyAnderson32476 5 years
I faced the same dilemma but with a 16 year old. He wanted a tattoo for his brother that was hit by a car and killed right in front of him. I had to seperate the emotions of why he wanted one and be a parent. I said no. I told him when he becomes an adult at 18 he can make that adult decision. That way if he regrets it he can't blame his parents personally I think the person who should be aressted was the tattoo person. If its a law shouldn't they be the one to advise the mom it's illigeal. Some people don't know every law that doesn't come into everyday norm.
maryjomassey maryjomassey 5 years
I dont see any thing wrong with it its not like it was something bad
AnsleeSkelton AnsleeSkelton 5 years
The idea of a 10yo getting a tattoo is shocking to me. However, I must say that the loss of her older son and that child's loss of his brother are emotions that thankfully I have never experienced. Many people consider tattoos a form of art, in fact I am one of them. Given the circumstances, I just don't think it's fair that this mom is getting such negative press and definitely don't think she should be charged with a crime. I sincerely hope that as this child ages he will continue to be happy with his tattoo. I know tattoos change as people age usually with the tattoo in early or middle adulthood changing as they become elderly. I wonder the impact to the tattoo of the large amount of growth this child will experience before he is grown.
sherriwinter sherriwinter 5 years
Tribes have done it for hundreds of years..
amywarren95429 amywarren95429 5 years
yes it should b the parent rite to say yes or no but com on wat silly person would let a 10 year old boy get a tattoo...
NickyPitts NickyPitts 5 years
She definately should have made her son wait. He's only 10 years old, frankly, I'm shocked that she found someone to do the tattoo. I understand her reason for letting her son get the tattoo but, since her son is only 10, he has a lot of growing to do. Now, when he reaches 18, the tattoo will probably have to be redone cause it's going to be deformed from his skin stretching as he grows. There is no reason why he couldn't have been made to wait. Yes, it's one of the best reasons to get a tattoo but, it's going to look funny when he gets older... she should have made him wait
JanakiNatalieParikh JanakiNatalieParikh 5 years
This is the most ridiculous, trumped up excuse to arrest a parent that I've come across in a long time. I thought this country stood for individual freedom & liberty. How is this decision something that a person can get arrested for??? Ultimately, what it comes down to is that whether we agree with it or not, it's not up to us to decide, at least it shouldn't be, it's up to a parent to give consent, or not & he/she shouldn't face legal action for making a parental & personal decision.
CrisOdom CrisOdom 5 years
The sensible, RESPONSIBLE, safe, HEALTHY, thing to do would be to simply say "no". Kids want what the want on impulse, thats why as parents we are supposed to look out for their best interest. There is absolutely NOTHING that she did by letting a 10 year old CHILD get a tattoo of ANYTHING that was in the best interest of his health and well being! NOTHING! My children lost their dad, yes it was hard..for all of us. Then, 6 months later my sister was brutally murdered by her husband in front of her children. My sister was my closest, best friend..I raised her most of her life and we were closer than close and the pain runs deeper than most could imagine. I also lost a daughter who lived just over an I KNOW the pain of losing ppl you love. My children also know that pain. My son who is now 18 asked me 3 years ago could he get a tat that would encorporate his dad and my sister whom he loved so very much. i said absolutely he could get whatever tattoo he wanted...when he turned 18 and could get it on his own with his own money! NO 10 year old child can make a decision like that..They are children, nothing more. They are not allowed to drive cars are they? no, because...thats right! They are children, too young to handle the grown up task...They are too young to handle the concept of what it really means that a tattoo hurts like the devil and is NEVER coming off. I dont care what the reason was, how heart wrenching it is to hear that it was for his brother..there is no excuse! I am a mother many times over and I believe parents have a responsibility to keep childrens bodies and pure as possible and when they are grown u can turn it over to them to do with as they choose. Yes, she should go to jail, yes the artist should as well. Laws are laws, whether we like them or not. It would be illegal to go out and hire him a hooker if he wanted to have one even if its in the name of his brothers memory! Also, kids learn that they can use that excuse to gain sympathy from others and manipulate what the want...and he has started learning that process already...the tattoo would have been a sweet heart warming symbol..on an adult! As someone else has said..henna tats r neither permanent nor painful...what kind of mother wants to let her kid go thru the pain of a tattoo anyway? they probably need therapy more than jail time.
KristinaHowden KristinaHowden 5 years
I say, leave it up to the parent to decide depending on maturity of the child. To reach out on all education about tattoos then to teach the child about it. Then perhaps come back to the child in a year and if their mind is still set on the tattoo, give them a practice fake one to wear for a while. If in fact the child believes they can live with that choice for the rest of their life (because when they are young tomorrow seems like forever) they should have a good idea whether having a tatt or not is something they would or wouldn't want to invest in. Then it must be something of significance- not stupid, profane, it could even be tribal or of their beliefs/traditions, but tasteful and something they and their parent can live with. I would also limit the child to only the one tattoo every year or couple years if they start getting into it until they reach 18. Not saying tattoos are for everyone. I do not have any tattoos but everyone makes up their own mind on whether to have or not have one. Perhaps they should drop age restriction to say like 13 or make sure all artists are well aware to tell a parent the laws. There are independent artists out there and beginners who will practice on those who are curious and they will end up with something crappy or something great but that call is unknown until the work has been started. Then your child would be stuck with crap and have to have it removed or tatted over later. I think it would be wise to have a professional do the job vs the inexperienced. This is hard to debate, I don't believe it was child abuse in anyway what the mother let her child have done. It was genuine, and all parents would like to fulfill such special requests as long as they make sense. Again the child may not be aware of body art just yet, but this child honestly has a big heart and he can show it on his arm to everyone, the world will know he greatly loved his brother. Also if you restrict tattoos, you should have all piercings restricted to 18 too. Oh wait, my daughter already had her ears pierced when she was 5 months old because I'm her parent and I wanted her to be able to wear earrings with out remembering the pain and cleaning them. I am glad I didn't wait because she would have probably freaked out every time I cleaned them. Happy opinions! We are a free country and have a right to our own opinions and the right to speak. But to have rights, laws, limits; doesn't mean we are truly free.
AmandaFord18702 AmandaFord18702 5 years
It was a tattoo for something important and special. I totally get why, under normal circumstances, you would NEVER let a 10 year old get a tattoo, but to me, if there was ever an exception, this would be it. I hope her punishment is more of a slap on the wrist. Sad situation, of course she should of/could of waited til he was older, but still... I'm glad to hear she is not dragging the artist into the fray.
ElisabethRing ElisabethRing 5 years
I looked it up because I was curious, and in Ohio, a child can get a tattoo with parental consent. I can understand why she would have been confused on this matter. I don't think I would let my son get a tattoo at such a young age, but it is not my place to tell her not to do so. But maybe she should have looked into the laws first.
AmohiaPaul AmohiaPaul 5 years
I think we should just shut up and stop with the preaching, anybody would think yous are all just the perfect parents, I agree with Fran Gordon, at least hes not getting into gangs and violence, drugs and all that other crap, he wanted to do something in honorable . I've seen kids at that age walking around with tattoos, smoke hanging out of their mouths trying to act all gangster like, like they are accurately adults.
JoanneCole JoanneCole 5 years
My child wanted a tattoo and I told her that when she is old enough to know that they want The child should have been given a picture of his brother to put in his room and told when you are older you can go and have it done.
AmberFinley46004 AmberFinley46004 5 years
The tattoo parlor should be charged as well. The made themselves liable when they did not tell the mom no. They should be required to follow the law as well. If they had said no then mom would have been aware of the law. There is good sentiment behind the boy’s choice. In my opinion he is still too young though.
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