Mother Teresa charity home 'sold babies' in India

Blanche Robertson
July 6, 2018

Jharkhand Police arrested a woman and detained two others working at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity for selling a 14-day-old child illegally.

There have been a number of reports of babies and children being trafficked through charity-run homes and hospitals in India, which campaigners say is driven by a long waiting list for adoption.

"One woman has now been placed under arrest and we have strong evidence against a nun in detention and she too could be arrested soon", Shyamanand Madal said, The Times of India reported Thursday.

News reports that an An Indian couple said they paid 120,000 rupees ($2,354 USA dollars) for a newborn baby they obtained from a Missionaries of Charity home, in eastern India's state of Jharkhand.

- via Getty Images Indian police gathered outside Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity on Wednesday.

Authorities grew suspicious after the state's Child Welfare Committee discovered a newborn boy was missing from the centre last week. The couple came forward after the worker allegedly took the baby back and kept their money.

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The state-run organization later took custody of the boy, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Verma as saying.

However, the nuns present then called up a couple from Uttar Pradesh who had allegedly bought the child for Rs 1.2 lakh. Indwar reportedly took the child away when the couple arrived.

The charity's spokeswoman, Sunita Kumar, told the AP that it is conducting an internal investigation.

The Missionaries of Charity stopped giving babies up for adoption in 2015 after India changed its adoption laws. "When they did not find Anima around, they went to the Missionaries of Charity but were not entertained by the following which the couple approached us and the matter was disclosed", she said. Twelve pregnant women who were living at the Missionaries of Charity's Ranchi shelter have been transferred to a government-run shelter, according to the AP.

Born in Skopje, now the capital of Macedonia, Mother Teresa, canonised as a saint after her death in 1997, became a global symbol of compassion but she was also a controversial and divisive figure. Members of the order, known for their distinctive blue-and-white saris, dedicate their lives to serving the "poorest of the poor" by caring for the sick and homeless, and educating children.

In 2015, the latest year for which statistics are available, the order had more than 5,000 religious sisters stationed in 139 countries.

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