Nuns from the Missionaries of Charity, the group founded by the late Mother Teresa, will close down their 30 orphanages rather than allow single and divorced people to adopt.

“We have already shut our adoption services, because we believe our children may not receive real love,” Sister Amala head of a New Delhi orphanage told the Washington Post. “We do not wish to give children to single parents or divorced people. It is not a religious rule, but a human rule. Children need both parents, male and female. That is only natural, isn’t it?”

Advertisement

The group’s decision comes after India overhauled their outdated adoption process in August. According to the Post the system, which had previously allowed individual orphanages to make adoption decisions without any government oversight, was “rife with corruption, trafficking, delay, favoritism and prejudice.”

Since the overhaul, the Indian government has required orphanages to submit children’s information to an automated system that matches children to potential parents. The Missionaries of Charity opposed the changes because it could potentially allow orphans to be matched with unmarried and divorced applicants.

Advertisement

Maneka Gandhi, the minister for women and child development, confirmed that the Missionaries of Charity had refused to register their organization under the new guidelines. “They do not want to come under a uniform secular agenda,” she said.

Advertisement

The decision to reorganize the adoption system came after the country saw dropping adoption rates. According to the Post, 2,700 children were adopted last year, down from 5,700 four years ago.

Image via AP.