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Sr. Amala, the nun in charge at the North Delhi center, says they have ended their adoption services as of August. “The new guidelines hurt our conscience.They are certainly not for religious people like us. What if the single parent who we give our baby to turns out to be gay or lesbian? What security or moral upbringing will these children get? Our rules only allow married couples to adopt”. And so they have decided not to be a part of the revised adoption process, asking the government to de-register 13 of their orphanages instead.
Veerendra Mishra, Secretary of Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) said the Missionaries of Charity objected to the new rules due to religious differences. In short, they do not want their orphans to be adopted by single parents. But the “religious differences” get more specific than that.
The Missionaries of Charity run a network of orphanages across India. Earlier, the decision whether or not to allow an applicant to adopt one of their children rested with the Missionaries of Charity. However, the Ministry of Women & Child Development relaxed its norms to allow those who are single, divorced or separated to apply as prospective parents, and with their application being routed through CARA, the Missionaries of Charity have been told that they cannot deny anyone meets the new criteria.
Maneka Gandhi, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, said that the government was trying to increase the number of adoptions in India, and hoped that the Missionaries of Charity would come under a secular code.