Sasha Ruseva is the mother of the girl named Maria.
Bulgaria said today it would seek the return of a
four-year-old girl found with a Roma family in Greece after DNA
tests proved her natural parents were Bulgarian.
Tests have confirmed that Sasha Ruseva, a 35-year-old Roma
woman with nine other children, is the mother of the girl
named Maria whose blue eyes and blonde hair aroused the
suspicions of Greek police when they raided a Roma camp.
Ruseva has said she wants to take back the child she says she
left as a seven-month-old baby with another couple in Greece
because she was too poor to care for her. She denies she took
money for the child.
"The State Agency for Child Protection will take the
necessary steps to bring back the girl Maria after it was
proven she is a child of Sasha and Atanas Rusev," the agency
said in a statement.
It said social workers would meet Maria at the border and
accommodate her either in a crisis centre or with a foster
family until a decision was taken over her future - whether
she should be reunited with her biological parents, cared for
by other relatives or remain with a foster family.
DNA tests carried out in Greece showed the Roma couple she
was with were not her biological parents and they have been
charged with abducting a minor and detained.
The little girl is currently in the care of the Athens-based
charity Smile of the Child.
Her natural parents and six of their children occupy one room
in a crumbling house on the outskirts of the town of
Nikolaevo, some 280 km (170 miles) east of Sofia. The
children often sleep on a mud floor and speak little
Both parents are jobless and live on welfare payments.
The case has illustrated the plight of Roma gypsies in
Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest member state. Many
spend their lives close to destitution, illiterate and on the
fringes of society.