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Mother Teresa's Order Ceases Adoptions Rather Than Serve Gay Parents

Mother Teresa's Order Ceases Adoptions Rather Than Serve Gay Parents

Missionaries of Charity

The order objects to new Indian government rules allowing adoption by single parents — who might be gay or lesbian.

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The Catholic religious order founded by Mother Teresa has stopped facilitating adoptions in India because of new national regulations allowing adoption by single parents -- who might "turn out" to be gay or lesbian, leaders of the order fear.

The Missionaries of Charity order objects to the rules put in place this summer by the Women and Child Development Ministry, approving adoption in India by single parents, as well as those who are divorced and remarried, and setting up a system to monitor whether adoption agencies are discriminating.

"Since August, we have closed down all our adoption agencies around the country," Sister Amala, who is in charge of a Missionaries of Charity children's home in Delhi, told The Indian Express last week. "The new guidelines hurt our conscience. They are certainly not for religious people like us -- maybe they are for secular people. ... But we are concerned about children and their future. What if the single parent who we give our baby turns out to be gay or lesbian? What security or moral upbringing will these children get? Our rules allow only married couples to adopt."

The order, which runs about 30 children's homes in India, will continue to house abandoned children who are not chosen for adoption, the Associated Press reports.

The new rules are designed to increase the number of adoptions in India, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi told local media. The adoption process in the nation is fraught with bureaucratic complications, leading many prospective parents to seek children from other countries, especially China, or go through black-market systems.

Gandhi, a strong advocate of adoption, said last week that the Missionaries of Charity "have their own agenda" that goes against the government's "uniform secular agenda," but she is not giving up on the order, the Express reports. "We are trying to persuade them -- they are good people," she said.

The situation in India has played out in the U.S. as well. Some states, such as Illinois, have ended contracts with religiously affiliated adoption agencies because they discriminate against same-sex couples. And in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities ceased offering adoption services rather than comply with state antidiscrimination law. In a recent speech to volunteers of the Human Rights Campaign, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton said that if elected president, she would end all federal funding to child welfare agencies that discriminate against LGBT parents.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.