An important case dealing with testamentary restraint upon adoptions was decided by the Tennessee Supreme Court during the survey period.' The case was one of first impression in this jurisdiction and appears to be one of the few decisions upon the subject in the United States. In his will testator created a trust for his granddaughter, the child of his deceased son. He imposed a condition that if the child were adopted before her eighteenth birthday by someone outside testator's immediate family, and if her name were changed, then the trust should terminate and the corpus be distributed to other persons. After testator's death the condition was breached; the mother of the child remarried, the child was adopted by 'her stepfather, and her name was changed, before her eighteenth birthday. The trustee brought suit in the nature of interpleader to determine the effect of this breach. The guardian of the child contended that the condition imposed on the trust was contrary to public policy as being an unlawful restraint upon adoption, and was merely an "in terroren" provision.
William J. Harbison,
Domestic Relations -- 1954 Tennessee Survey,
7 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol7/iss5/7