'A nun and one other employee serving at a Missionaries of Charity center in India founded by Mother Teresa has been arrested and accused of child trafficking.
Acting on a series of complaints, the Indian Child Welfare Committee (CWC) affirmed that they are in the process of investigating the sale of a newborn baby boy from the Nirmal Hriday (Pure Hearts) home to a couple in Uttar Pradesh for 120,000 rupees – around $1,700. The baby was reported to have been born at the charity on March 19 and sold through the black market to a couple on May 14.
The nun at the center of the scandal, publicly identified only as Concilia, was detained on July 4 and the following day was placed under judicial custody by the court. Another employee from the center, set up by the late Mother Teresa -- who was canonized as St. Teresa in 2016 -- was also arrested in connection to alleged trafficking cases.
The charity has expressed shock over the allegations.
“We are shocked to know what has happened in our home… it is completely against our moral conviction,” Sunita Kumar, spokesperson for the Missionaries of Charity, stated. “We are carefully looking into this matter. We will take all necessary precautions that it never happens again, if it has happened.”
St. Teresa, who died in 1997, established the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 and now has more than 3,000 nuns operating the sisterhood globally – following in her footsteps to provide soup kitchens, hospices, schools, leper colonies and homes for forsaken minors. The charity also offers shelter for unmarried women, but no longer facilitates adoptions.
Once plagued by lengthy wait times, stringent laws and hefty costs, the Indian government sought to streamline the process in 2015 by moving the system online with a national database of the tens of thousands of available children. The Missionaries of Charity however, opposed the changes on the basis it gave leeway for single women and unmarried couples to adopt.
And despite efforts to make Indian adoptions more transparent, the black market continues to thrive as prospective parents often find it easier to skirt the legal system and adopt directly from hospitals or orphanages, exacerbating the trade in child trafficking.'
Read more: Nun at charity founded by Mother Teresa arrested, accused of trafficking babies
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