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10 Completely Archaic Laws Still on the Books


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Don't Sell a Child Younger Than 12 to the Circus
Junior may be clowning but in Georgia, you can't sell him to the circus if he is 12 or under. Hemera/Thinkstock
Junior may be clowning but in Georgia, you can't sell him to the circus if he is 12 or under. Hemera/Thinkstock

But once little Johnny turns the big 1-3, feel free to ship him off to a career as trapeze swinger or carnival barker. The list of vocations for which parents may not rent out their minor children ages 12 and younger in Georgia includes gymnast, contortionist, circus rider and acrobat, as well as clown and wire walker. Why these particular professions -- as opposed to, say chimney sweep, alligator trainer or sidewalk sign holder -- have been identified as particularly unsuitable for young kids is not clear. Perhaps in the old days, it was a common way to get rid of some of your unwanted children.

At any rate, the consequences of running afoul of this law is well established: A misdemeanor conviction can come with up to a year in the slammer and a maximum $1,000 fine [source: Code of Georgia, Georgia Criminal Procedure].


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