Lots to think about on this one.
I think any permanant body modification done to a normal child's body should not be permitted for any reason. I think all piercings, tattos and surgical genital modifications should not be permitted on anyone below the age of 18 and that only the individual receiving the bodily modification has the right to consent to it. (I am not including surgical correction of deformity or malfunction to restore proper function.)
I think it is abuse of power to place a permanant mark upon a child. I don't believe that children have the mental maturity and life experience to fully appreciate the repercussions of an action like this. I think it shows grave misguidance for an adult to facilitate a tattoo for a minor child.
I realize that we live in a culture that condones and socially normalizes and medically supports modifications like ear piercing and circumcision. It's sad to me that this is the case....but because it is the case, no one would take you seriously if you called CPS to report either of them. I don't think that is the case with a parent tattooing a child.
What would you think if a 7 year old child walked into a tattoo studio and requested to be tattooed and the artist did it? Would you report the artist/studio? Why? (and let's take the financial motivation out of it in an effort to equalize the situation and say that the kid pulled 3 pennies out of his pocket for the tattoo and the artist did it for him.
What do you think of a parent doing it? Is there any difference between the studio and the parent? If so, what?
If tattooing minors was illegal in my state, and I had first hand knowledge that this occurred, it would be obvious to me that reporting it would be appropriate. If there were other issues with the parents ability to properly raise the child, it would be a clear cut decision to make a report.
If the issue was just the tattoo, I would want to know the likely actions that CPS would take in the face of a report. Would they investigate, charge the father, have him arrested, let him post bail and remain with the family? If so, I would not hesitate to call. Would they remove the child from the home and place him in foster care? If so, I'd be FAR less inclined to call. The final determining factor in whether I would call is whether or not I thought the resulting actions of a call would cause more trauma to the child than the tattoo.
Is it possible to call CPS and ask them what the path of action would be if they recieved a report of a 7 year old being tattooed by a parent?
Sometimes it's hard to have clear cut opinions on something because what you see as clear can sure cast a long and very grey shadow.
I am a staunch supporter of bodily integrity and I view the parental consent for bodily modification of a minor to be a human rights violation and an abuse of power. This is a tough situation.
Also, is this parent likely to put more tattoos on the kid?