The Roman Catholic order founded by the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa has opted to stop providing adoption services in India following a government mandate that single and divorced parents be able to adopt, reports the Associated Press. The Missionaries of Charity, which cares for abandoned children at homes across the country, said the new rules violate its beliefs.
The order by India's Central Adoption Resource Authority states that any prospective parent, regardless of marital status, can adopt a child, and it establishes a national mechanism to monitor adoptions. The lack of such a system has given adoption agencies and orphanages leeway to make it harder for certain people to adopt, the AP reports.
A Missionaries of Charity spokeswoman said the group "will continue to nurture and provide shelters to the destitute and orphan children." Maneka Gandhi, India's minister for women and child development, criticized the organization for acting on what she called "ideological issues."