Missionaries of Charity may hand over kids to govt

New rules of adoption in conflict with charity's beliefs

Missionaries of Charity may hand over kids to govt

The Missionaries of Charity (MoC) plans to hand over all children under its care and of an age where they can be put up for adoption to respective state governments where they run these centres.

The organisation, however, will continue to run the orphanages and old age homes under its wings.

MoC spokesperson Sunita Kumar said that sisters of the organisation have decided to put these children in the custody of the child welfare committee (CWC) in each state, including West Bengal.

“We will hand over the children to CWCs of respective state governments. CWCs can then decide to put these children up for adoption through centres that are operating in keeping with the fresh guidelines,” she said.

The MoC stated that the decision was taken since the organisation is not in sync with the new guidelines issued by the Central government. The organisation runs 18 such centres in different parts of the country, including three in West Bengal.
Sunita said sisters have accepted the decision to shutdown the centres as “God’s will”.

“They don’t hold any grudge against anybody,” she said. Sunita, a close associate of Mother Teresa and a prominent art collector, is also close to the serving Superior General, Sister Prema.

The Christian charitable organisation was founded by Mother Teresa in Kolkata in 1950 and has a presence in 133 countries with a field force of around 4,500 sisters.
The MoC-run adoption centres met with an obstacle in August when the Central government issued a directive allowing single, divorced and separated individuals to adopt children. While the guidelines are aimed at boosting adoption in India, where the process is notorious in its complexity, the MoC has a policy of placing children only with married couples.

Sisters believe the new guidelines violate their ideological and religious views.
Sources in the MoC pointed out that the organisation does a thorough background check of couples wanting to adopt children to ensure that they are not wanting in affection at their new home.

“That’s our system. We’ll not do it otherwise. So we decided to stop the services,” an official said, adding that last year, the MoC processed adoption of nearly 540 children.

“These children were put up for adoption both in India and abroad. However, this year we stopped our services from August 15 after the Central government issued the directive.  Sisters took a unanimous decision in this regard since they are not comfortable with the new guidelines. Instead of providing adoption services, they will turn to special needs children who are still orphaned,” the official said.

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