1. Statutes ? Words and Phrases ? Use of word "may." It is the general principle in statutory construction that where the - Page 130 word "may" is used in conferring power upon officer, court, or tribunal, and the public or the third person has an interest in the exercise of such power, the exercise of that power becomes imperative. 2. Adoption ? Order of adoption made without notice void. Adoptive father who had been divorced on ground of extreme cruelty and who was fully discharging his obligations under divorce decree to adopted daughter and was contributing largely to her support, was entitled to notice of proceeding to adopt child instituted by his divorced wife and by her husband by a later marriage, and order of adoption made without notice to father was void as to him and would be annulled.