02/26/2016 11:58 EST | Updated 02/22/2017 03:43 EST

Dad Considers Tattooing One Of His Identical Twins For A Good Reason

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Photo of 2 babies on bed focusing on their legs.

A desperate father took to Reddit for advice on tattooing one of his identical twins for identification purposes and gained surprising support despite the controversial topic. According to the anonymous dad, the boys were born “very premature” and now one needs vital medication every four hours, but the two cannot be told apart.

User Thrwydad is a father to 12-month-old twins Aaron and Adam who are “completely identical” except for the fact that Aaron has health complications. “Even me and my wife can't tell them apart and have been drawing on Adam’s arm every day with permanent marker (Aaron has very sensitive skin and we don't want to irritate it),” the dad wrote.

Unfortunately, this method failed horribly when the twins were brought to their grandmother’s house and the permanent marker on Adam’s arm washed off during a bath.

“Grandma accidently gave Aaron's medication to Adam,” the father continued. “Adam ended up very sick and Aaron in hospital for a week. This is a serious extreme situation and I don't want to take this risk again. We have had other mix ups with the boys but it has never wound up this bad.”

“I read online about someone tattooing a single dot on one of their twins and also about piercing ears. I really hate to say it but we are here.”

Previously, the dad of two and his wife tried other methods of identification, including nail polish, bracelets, different clothing and even shaving one of the boys’ heads. Now desperate, the couple is looking for a more permanent solution.

“I read online about someone tattooing a single dot on one of their twins and also about piercing ears,” the dad wrote. “I really hate to say it but we are here. I need to do something permanent. I could have lost both my sons last weekend and I'm desperate.”

While readers were initially appalled by the idea of tattooing or piercing an infant, a number ended up being sympathetic towards the father. They even chimed in on the debate over which method would be the best option for identification.

“Pierce an ear. That can be taken out or your son will be the coolest toddler ever,” one argued.

“I would pierce the ear of one of the twins,” another agreed. “At least it's removable and won't leave a huge scar when he's older.”

However, there were some who were adamant that a tattoo would be the better option. “Interesting, everyone so far has said piercing but I would say the tattoo on the foot as it is only something you will see, it can't snag on anything, can still be removed but would be very small anyway,” one user wrote.

“My friend has a similar issue and used to paint her boys' toenails,” another added. “She ended up getting a dot tattooed on the bottom of one boy's foot.”

Some commenters also argued that a tattoo would be better because the parents could get it done in a medical setting. One user explained: “Personally, I'd go for the tattoo. You'll almost certainly need to get the doc to agree, but given the situation, I suspect it'll be an easy sell. Hospitals occasionally use tattooing for medical reasons, too - even children's hospitals.”

Since posting to Reddit, Aaron and Adam’s father has not revealed which solution has been chosen.

In the past, parents have come up with all sorts of methods for identifying identical twins, such as using temporary tattoos or stickers, identifying specific birth marks, and assigning a certain colour for each baby.


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