When a grandfather allowed his 10-year-old grandson to get a tattoo, he did not believe he was doing anything that would harm the child. The grandfather claims it is a family tradition to receive a tattoo with the family member's initials and didn't see any issue with it. However, once Florida authorities found out that his grandson was allowed to receive a tattoo on his right leg, it certainly became a family law issue in their eyes.
The Florida Department of Children and Families was at the family home to investigate a separate matter when they noticed the tattoo on the grandson. After the visit, the grandfather lost custody of his grandchildren. The grandfather argued that he did not see why that tattoo was such a serious issue. However, the department claims that the tattoo was not the only factor in stripping the grandfather of his custody rights to the child.
A recently passed law prohibits tattooing a child who is under the age of 16-years-old, except in cases of medical and dental purposes. However, the department is still not legally permitted to remove children simply because of a tattoo. A department spokesperson claimed that there were other allegations which led to the grandfather having his child custody rights taken away. The spokesperson said the department generally considers whether or not the child is being abused or is at risk in anyway. If the department feels that a guardian or parent is putting a child at risk, then it will consider removing the child.
Although the agency cannot remove a child from a Florida home because of a tattoo, it appears to have been the catalyst for the removal. While the agency claims they were investigating other matters, there was no word on what those other matters were and why they would result in the grandfather losing custody.
Child custody battles can be difficult, especially when battling a government agency. This man will have an uphill legal battle in trying to regain custody but hopefully will be able to show that he is not neglectful and truly meant his grandson no harm.