Girl's Parents ID'd; Girls Fate Uncertain

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

NIKOLAEVO, Bulgaria (AP) - The mystery is solved -- but the future of a young girl known only as Maria is still uncertain.

DNA tests confirm that a Bulgarian Roma, or Gypsy, couple living in an impoverished village with their nine other children are the biological parents of the girl found in Greece with another couple.

The mother of the children says she gave birth to a baby girl four years ago in Greece, where she was working as an olive picker, but gave the child away because she was too poor to care for her.

Maria has been in the care of a charity since authorities raided a Roma settlement in Greece last week and found she wasn't related to the Greek Roma couple she was living with.

Officials in Bulgaria and Greece are now trying to determine whether her biological mother agreed to sell the child.

The Greek Roma couple have been charged with abducting the girl and committing document fraud. Under Greek law, child abduction charges can include cases where a minor is voluntarily given away by the parents.

The lawyer for the Greek couple says they'll look to gain legal custody of the girl.

But a 14-year-old in Bulgaria who turns out to be one of Maria's nine siblings says she wants her back home. She says, "We will take care of her."


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