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Religious differences and prejudice against LGBT have prompted the Missionaries of Charity orphanage to end their adoption services in India.

In reaction to India’s changes in adoption rules, the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mother Teresa in 1950, recognized by their white headscarf with a blue border, 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, known for their service to the poor, run a network of orphanages across India, providing destitute and abandoned children with food, shelter, education and medical care, also welcoming special needs' children in to their system.

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".

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.

They are also upset that the new guidelines offer applicants a choice from six children, something that has not gone down well with the religious order as being able to 'select' a child according to personal preferences is something that biological parents do not do – not only is it against natural law, such a practice may lead to increased use of contraception and/or abortion, both of which go against the teachings of the Catholic Church, to put people in a position where they are allowed to pick according to their fancy.

"Mother [Teresa]’s idea was adoption to counter abortion. When a woman gives birth to a baby, is she allowed a choice? She gets what God gifts her. Here too we allow only one chance, we match the baby as per the parents’ background, skin color and so on. But parents are not allowed a choice, even if the child has a deformity. We cannot allow parents one option out of six to adopt children”, explained Sr. Amala.

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.

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