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3 - Adoption of Minors and State Control of Tutelle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 October 2023

Bernard Moitt
Affiliation:
Virginia Commonwealth University
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Summary

Chapter 3 deals with the work of the Conseil de Tutelle (Guardianship Council) from the 1840s under the jurisdiction of the Procureur Général – the head of the judiciary. It begins with the composition of the council, the decision-making process, and the conditions under which placement occurred. We learn about the sex, age, and the origin of minors, as well as the identity and origin of their parents. Also, the identity, place of abode, and profession of guardians provide valuable clues about the potential fate of minors. The chapter distinguishes between the Conseil de Tutelle and the Conseil de Famille (Family Council) which handled mostly inheritance cases involving minors whose parents died and left an inheritance, and not cases involving minors liberated from slavery. The chapter also examines cases where family members, acquaintances, and former owners of minors sought to reclaim them through appeals to the Conseil de Tutelle. It ends with the council’s placement of orphans, some of free status, in tutelle, and the end of the Conseil de Tutelle as a body governing guardianship.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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