Georgia parents defend giving kids tattoos

Jan. 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM
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SUMMERVILLE, Ga., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Two parents in Summerville, Ga., say they did nothing wrong by giving six of their children homemade tattoos.

Patty Jo Marsh and her husband, Jacob Bartels, admitted giving six of the seven children in their care tattoos using a tattoo machine and guitar strings as needles, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday.

"I'm their mother," Marsh said. "Shouldn't I be able to decide if they get one?"

Under Georgia state law, children under the age of 18 cannot get tattoos and no tattoos can be given by anyone other than a licensed professional.

Marsh insists the six kids all wanted to get small cross tattoos and she and her husband never intended to hurt the children with the body art.

Marsh and her husband are facing charges of cruelty to children, reckless conduct and tattooing.

Police and Division of Family and Children Services officials learned of the tattoos after the biological mother of two of the kids noticed the tattoos during a weekend visit, the Journal-Constitution said.

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