Vanderbilt Law Review

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In the case of In re Matthews, the supreme court once more was called upon to construe the adoption statutes and to determine the relationship between the juvenile court and a court in which adoption proceedings are pending. In this same case, the court had earlier held that jurisdiction of juvenile courts to declare children abandoned is not exclusive and that in adoption proceedings a chancery court may determine whether there has been an abandonment of the child proposed to be adopted. The supreme court had remanded the case to the chancery court. In that court, the Department of Public Welfare resisted the proposed adoption and asserted that in still earlier proceedings the subject child had been declared to be a dependent by the juvenile court, its custody had been given to the department and the cause retained in juvenile court for further orders. The department therefore contended that the chancery court could not proceed with the proposed adoption proceedings. The chancellor agreed and dismissed the petition for adoption. For the second time the supreme court reversed the cause and remanded it to the chancellor, holding that nothing in the juvenile court statutes prevents a circuit or chancery court from entertaining an adoption proceeding merely because the child is within the jurisdiction of the lower court as a dependent.

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