Vanderbilt Law Review

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The definition of "abandonment" within the meaning of the Tennessee adoption statutes was clarified in the case of Ex parte Wolfenden. The stepmother of the subject child filed a petition for adoption, joined in and consented to by the natural father. A cross-petition was filed by the child's uncle and his wife, seeking to adopt the child and alleging that the natural father had abandoned the child and had delivered her to the home of the uncle for permanent rearing. The circuit judge granted the cross-petition upon the ground that adoption by the uncle was for the best interest of the child. He expressly declined to find whether there had been an abandonment by the natural father, deeming this fact immaterial. The court of appeals reversed and remanded the case for further findings on this point.

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