Catholic Bishop's Conference slams govt's new adoption guidelines

The government's guidelines to allow single people to adopt children have invited criticism from Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI) which also endorsed the stand taken by the Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity to stop adoption from its orphanages.

New Delhi: The government's guidelines to allow single people to adopt children have invited criticism from Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI) which also endorsed the stand taken by the Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity to stop adoption from its orphanages.

The CBCI said the guidelines go against the well-established and widely accepted principles of "ethics" and human dignity endorsed by Mother Teresa.

"It would be quite an unacceptable procedure to allow the single parent to adopt a child, as it involves many risks for the adopted children and defeats the very purpose of adoption. Equally unacceptable is the directive that six children to be shown to the Adopter to select one from among them.

"This would be tantamount to consider the children as mere commodities for preferential choice and a denial of human dignity to children," an official statement said.

"CBCI fully endorses the stand taken by the Missionary Sisters of Charity that it would be difficult for them to continue with the adoption Centres, as some of the provisions of the new guidelines go against the well-established and widely accepted principles," it added.

The Women and Child Development Ministry had earlier this week directed all childcare institutions involved in the process of adoption to follow the new guidelines in the wake of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity refusing to give children up for adoption over "ideological differences".

The revised guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 prescribe a legal obligation on all childcare institutions to promote and undertake adoptions as per the guidelines laid down by the Central Government.

The charity is reported to have refused to give children up for adoption to single parents, gays or lesbians. However, single parents were allowed to adopt even according to the 2011 guidelines and there is no mention of gays and lesbians in either the 2011 or the 2015 guidelines.

CBCI Secretary General, Archbishop Albert D'Souza, has also appointed a team of legal experts to study the implications of the said guidelines and to suggest appropriate measures to be followed at CBCI level.

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