Missionaries Should Rethink Decision to Opt Out of Adoption: Kolkata's Single Mothers

The Missionaries of Charity runs 18 homes for children from which adoption used to take place.

Kolkata: Single mothers who have adopted children, especially in Mother Teresa own city, Kolkata, are disappointed that Missionaries of Charity has decided to stop adoptions. Maneka Gandhi, Union minister for Women and Child, has been widely quoted saying, the Missionaries do not approve of adoption by single parents. The decision to opt out, say single mothers, will hurt children most.  

The Missionaries of Charity runs 18 homes for children from which adoption used to take place. Last financial year, 537 children were adopted from their homes.  

For a single woman in south Kolkata who adopted her daughter in 2007 - not from Missionaries, it was disheartening news. She believes Mother Teresa would not have a problem with single parents.

"The welfare of children was primary for Mother Teresa. Anything that would benefit the children, she would do. If she felt a single parent could give happiness to the child, I am sure she would give the child to him or her," the adoptive mother said. She requested anonymity.   

Rita Bose adopted Rahul 24 years ago. Never married, this Kolkata resident is disappointed with the Missionaries of Charity's reported reservation about single parents.  So is her son, now in Bangalore.  

"We don't know where the children are from, many are children of unwed mothers. So if they could take the children from unwed mothers, why can't they allow single parents to adopt? It is really unfortunate. I hope they will change their mind," Ms Bose said.

Her son, Rahul, said, "I am so proud of my mother. I know I have had 100 per cent of her love. I don't think the Missionaries of Charity decision is right."

Missionaries of Charity have said their homes for children will run as usual. But their decision to opt out of adoption could be a setback for children waiting to go home - to parents - couples and singles.