India: Catholic charity stops all adoptions to avoid gay parents


Mother Teresa's charity, The Missionaries of Charity, has deregistered 13 orphanages from adoption services in India due to single and divorced people being allowed to adopt.

India's laws surrounding adoption have been liberalised, opening up adoption to prospective parents who are single, divorced or separated.

There were two points of contention, The secretary of India's central adoption agency told The Indian Express: "First, [Missionaries of Charity] will not allow adoption by single parents; second, they also have issues with couples, one or both of whom has had a divorce earlier."

Sister Amala, the nun in charge at the Missionaries' home in North Delhi, told local media that the new guidelines went against the Catholic conscience:

"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."

The charity runs homes providing shelter, food, medical care and education for abandoned children, including those with special needs across India. The adoption services finished on 1 August.

One sister, who chose to remain anonymous, said the decision to close the adoption services had been considered "for some time" in order to "look after special needs children who had not been adopted." She added, "It was a well-thought out discussion."