DNA tests have confirmed that a Bulgarian Roma couple are the biological parents of mystery blond girl Maria who was found at a Roma settlement in Greece.
Her mother Sasha Ruseva, 35, admits giving up her child in Greece, saying she could not afford to feed her, but she
has told prosecutors that she did not take money.
Ruseva’s grandmother however says Sasha did take the equivalent of around 100 euros – to buy a ticket to get home to her other children in Bulgaria.
Zeynep, 65, said her granddaughter cried for the child she had left behind but that she had no money to return to Greece because of the cost of medicine and food for the other youngsters.
There is a resemblance between Maria and some other children in the family, who are blond. Tests showed the couple Maria was found with in Greece were not her blood relatives. They have been charged with child abduction.
Diana Kaneva, a social services official in Bulgaria, said Maria would probably be accommodated in a crisis centre or family centre there, before being placed in a foster family.
The case has come to illustrate the desperate plight of Roma families, many of whom have spent their lives in poverty, are illiterate and have been marginalised by society.