Adoption rules of Teresa’s charity will deny many a safe home

  • Lalita Panicker, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Oct 10, 2015 01:20 IST
Nuns from the Missionaries of Charity. The organisation has expressed fears that petitioners to adopt children who are single may turn out to be gay or lesbian, posing a ‘security or moral risk’ to the child. (AFP Photo)

If you happen to be single or divorced, perish the thought of adopting a child from the Missionaries of Charity. In what can only be described as a bizarre display of morality, the authorities at the famous organisation founded by Mother Teresa have expressed fears that the single person who adopts a child may turn out to be gay or lesbian, which in their eyes poses a security and moral risk to the child. Rather than conform to the government’s guidelines on adoption, the Missionaries would rather be de-recognised.

Mother Teresa, who was given sainthood in double quick time by the Vatican, apparently felt that adoption was a way of countering abortion, which she opposed vehemently. But she also had very definite ideas on who could be a parent and who could not.

This is a retrogressive and harmful mindset, given the fact that many potential parents who wish to adopt children may not be able to fit the rigorous moral conditions of the Missionaries. And why on earth would a person’s sexual orientation be tantamount to a risk to the child? It is no one’s case that strict background checks not be conducted on prospective parents.

But to cite a person’s marital status — divorced people are not acceptable — really stretches the limits of intolerance.

At the moment, 9,000 parents are in line in India to adopt just 800 children. Fed up with the cumbersome adoption procedures in India, parents from the West are looking at other countries in the region. In addition, if such ludicrous conditions are attached, it will take a miracle of the sort Mother Teresa is credited with having performed to get suitable parents for our babies who need a home.

The main concern for a charitable organisation which is purportedly doing God’s work on earth should be to care for the most helpless of humanity, children. After all, Christ himself said: “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of God.”

The problem with the Missionaries is that they don’t seem to have kept up with the changes in the world, something the Pope certainly seems to have done, surprising the world with his liberal, progressive views. The central principle of adoption is to give the child a happy upbringing in a secure and safe environment. The only consideration should be that the prospective parent/parents can provide this.

If the Missionaries were to impose their conditions on adoption, chances are that we will have a lot more babies waiting for a very long time to get a home.

The sisters of the organisation are welcome to their views on abortion and parental suitability. But why should they make innocent children suffer for their beliefs? After all, supporters of Mother Teresa have always reiterated that she did not impose her religious beliefs on those she saved, and she was admired for this. Her only concern was for the betterment of humanity.

But it would seem that both she and her successors narrowed down the definition of humanity to exclude certain categories of people. This certainly sounds downright uncharitable to many of us and quite out of sync with the modernising Church under Pope Francis.

also read

Looking beyond UP and Punjab: BJP eyes Manipur as part of its ‘Cong-mukt Bharat’
Show comments