Children to be Adopted Through State Governments: Mother Teresa Orphanages

Published: 22nd October 2015 03:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2015 03:21 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: The decision of Mother Teresa's orphanages not to offer children for adoption over ideological differences with the new adoption guidelines has kicked off a debate whether single parents should be allowed to adopt a child with Women and Child Development Ministry not willing to bend the revised rules.           

While the provision of adoption by single parent was stipulated in previous guidelines, it was not law-binding. The present rules make it mandatory for every child care institution to offer children for adoption by prospective parents including single men and women.     

Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity are running 18 orphanages across India for the past more than 50 years, which will soon be de-recognised as far as adoption is concerned. "Adoption is a personal thing. We are not against single parenting. Nowadays even single parents can do better look-after of a child. But the rules laid down by the 'Mother' does not make us comfortable with this concept and we do not want to go against it," Sunita Kumari, spokesperson of Missionaries of Charity Sunita Kumar told PTI.    

"We will continue to do our work. We feel fortunate that we were able to send children for adoption for so many years. But now if they (Ministry) want to change we cannot do anything," she said.          After exhibiting its inability to help in the process, the children of these orphanages will be offered for adoption through state government's Child Welfare Committee, Kumari said.       

The Missionaries for Charity, which runs the Mother Teresa orphanages, has written to the government to de-recognise their institutions on the ground that they cannot offer children for adoption to single parent. However, the Ministry officials said the guidelines were revised to make the process simpler and with an intent to find homes for maximum number of children without compromising on their security.            

"The provision for a single man or woman to adopt a child has always existed and the Christian community was unnecessarily raking up the issue now," sources in the ministry said.   

While total adoptions within the country in 2012-13 was 4,694, it dropped to 3,924 in 2013-14 and was almost same at 3,988 in 2014-15. Adoptions of children by those coming from abroad was 308 in 2012-13, 422 in 2013-14 and 374 in 2014-125.          

Since April this year, 1,200 children have been adopted, according to official figures. The Ministry has set a target of 50,000 adoptions by December next year. However, on the issue of foster care, the Ministry has discouraged single parents from becoming foster parents.     

"Both the spouses must be Indian citizens. It is felt that at present single parent should not be encouraged for foster care as they are likely to enter matrimony and this may result in problems," according to the Foster Care guidelines released by the Ministry recently.

Foster care allows children, in the age group of 6-18 years, who are victims of sexual or physical abuse, violence, abandoned children whose parents are suffering from terminal illnesses or mental disability or in prison, to be put in foster homes that will provide community and family care.  

There is no upper limit for taking a child under foster care while the lower limit has been fixed at 35 years. "Both the spouses must be willing to foster the same child," the guidelines said.

However, children below 6 years of age will be discouraged for placement in foster care as such small children will be preferably provided a permanent family through adoption.   


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