Maria mystery: Tests confirm Bulgarian Roma couple are her parents
Mother claimed she gave birth to a girl while working in Greece but could not afford to take her back to Bulgaria
DNA tests have confirmed that the child known as Maria is the daughter of Bulgarian Roma couple Sasha Ruseva and Atanas Rusev, Bulgarian officials have announced.
The discovery of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl living with a Roma family in Greece last week sparked an international investigation after DNA tests proved the girl was not biologically related to a couple who initially claimed to be her parents.
Speaking to Bulgarian TV yesterday, Ruseva said that she gave birth to a girl while working in Greece but that she had to leave the child because she didn't have enough money to take her home at seven months of age.
“I intended to go back and take my child home, but meanwhile I gave birth to two more kids so I was not able to go back,” Ruseva said, insisting that she did not get paid for giving up the girl.
Ruseva was tracked down to a Roma settlement in Nikolaevo, Bulgaria by Greek website zougla.gr who published Ms Ruseva's identity card and what they claimed was a birth certificate for Maria, which registered her date of birth as 31 January 2009.
Maria is currently in the care of Greek charity The Smile of the Child. They were unable to comment on what would happen to the child now the identity of her biological parents had been established.
Christos Salis and Eletheria Dimopoulou, aged 39 and 40, have been arrested and charged with abduction and document fraud. They claim they received the child from a destitute Bulgarian woman and raised her with her own five children.
Under Greek law, child abduction charges can include cases where a minor is voluntarily given away by its parents outside the legal adoption process.
Costas Katsavos, the lawyer representing the Greek couple said Friday they planned to seek legal custody of the fair-haired girl, according to the Associated Press.
"Provided what we said is borne out, that it was not an abduction, then logically they will be released from prison and they will be able to enter a proper (adoption) process. They truly and ardently want her back," Katsavos said.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
London property boom built on dirty money
Becky Watts: Stepbrother and his girlfriend named locally as two arrested on suspicion of murder
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...