New Delhi, Oct. 30, 2018: The Missionaries of Charity (MC) congregation has agreed to return to adoption services, federal Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi told reporters on October 29.
The minister had a meeting with a delegation of the sisters led by its superior general Sister Mary Prema Pierick.
The congregation, founded by Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata, had pulled out of adoptions three years ago because of reservations over new guidelines allowing single, divorced or separated individuals to adopt.
After a meeting with the delegation, Maneka tweeted: “I requested them to come back into the @CARAWCD system of adoption so that children in the 79 MC homes can go into family care. Sr. Prema agreed to my request to work jointly on each of these homes so that the children in the MC homes can be onboarded into CARINGS expeditiously.’’
Cara or the Central Adoption Resource Authority is India’s nodal body for in-country and inter-country adoption of children while CARINGS stand for the Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System.
The officials of the congregation were not available for comment in Calcutta on October 29 evening, reports The Telegraph of Kolkata.
Earlier this year, an alleged baby sale racket had surfaced in one of the MC establishments in Ranchi, following which Maneka asked all state governments to inspect such institutions run by the congregation. The MC had described it as “individual actions which have nothing to do with the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity’’.
MC’s return to adoptions became inevitable after the enactment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 on December 31, 2015. As per Section 41 of the Act, all child care institutions — run by any state government or NGO — have to get themselves registered. Once registered, their linkage to the nearest adoption agency is mandatory, bringing them into the centralized adoption system.
Deepak Kumar, the chief executive officer of Cara, said that under the new law, the MC “has no choice but to comply’’. In any case, 48 of the 79 CCIs run by the MC were already registered, he said.
Another official said the minister was very keen on getting the MC back into the system because of the “good work’’ they do. “Their homes are well run and they take good care of the children,’’ the officer said, adding that the government felt the MC’s loss when it withdrew from the adoption system, particularly because they are a known and trusted name globally.
In 2015, the MC decided to withdraw from adoptions as the new guidelines took away the right to approve or reject prospective adoptive parents from adoption centers. What upset the MC the most was the provision to allow single, divorced and separated individuals to adopt, as this was “against our faith.”
Source: The Telegraph, India