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Little Maria: not a “blonde angel”, but an “albino Gypsy”?

What??? The biological parents of “blonde angel” Maria are not blonde? How could this happen? Can a geneticist explain how did a dark-haired and dark-skinned Roma woman give birth not to one but to two little blonde Gypsy angels? Or aren’t they “blonde angels” anymore? Now that it was DNA-proven that blonde girl found in Roma camp in Farsala was not on Interpol’s list of missing European and American children. Now that chances are high, as latest information from Bulgaria hints, that the girl might indeed a Roma child given by her real Roma parents to her fake Roma parents in what it seems to have been an ‘illegal adoption’ according to our Western society rules but a ‘legal adoption’ among the Roma culture?


Maria, Sasha Ruseva holding her red-dyed kid

OK, no DNA-test result has come out yet from blood samples from Bulgarian Sasha Ruseva, 35, and her husband Atana Rusev, 37, a Roma couple living in the village of Nikolaevo in Bulgaria. According to Bulgarian news agency bgnes, Sasha and Atana gave blood samples on Thursday, the DNA result is expected in due time.

“Alleged mother Sasha was more than willing to undergo a DNA test to ascertain if Mary is indeed the daughter, told the officers that if tests show that the child is hers, then she wants to get her back .

Husband Atana told reporters “And how do I know that the child is mine? Take my blood to clarify the situation .”

According to the Bulgarian National Television citing the mother, the Roma woman testified, she was in Greece a few years ago and gave birth to the child but she handed over to another Roma family as she did not have money to keep it.

Bulgarian newspaper Trud notes, the family is registered in the records of the municipality of nine children , aged 2-20 years , but the mother claims to have given birth ten times.” (AP)

Sasha claimed, she did not get money for the child, local and international media claim, she had received 250 euro. Furthermore, Greek media published birth certificates from Lamia hospital not far away from the Roma camp in Farsala giving hints that Maria was born in Greece by Sasha.

maria mother

One too many ‘blondes’

 Greek and foreign media rushed to the forgotten village in Nikoloevo and besieged the Rusevas’ family home. They experienced a surprise. The mother,  meager, dark-skinned and dark-haired Sasha, has ten children and lives in a house in a stage to fall apart. Among Sasha’s ten children reporters identified two blonde boys and a girl with red hair.

Video from Ruseva’s home

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

“Are all these kids Saha’s kids?” I heard a Greek journalist asking on Greek TV. So …multi-colored haired? Is this possible? To comfort the penetrating questions, one Greek internet user suggested “all the Ruseva kids and the parents should undergo a DNA-test”.

Or not. Not necessary, I may dare say. Two days ago in Dublin, the DNA-test to two blonde Roma kids forcefully removed from the parents proved that they were indeed the biological offspring of their dark-skinned parents. the kids were removed form the families after concerned citizens complaint to police. The citizens were influenced by the story of “blonde angel” Maria that had made headlines worldwide. In Ireland human rights groups call for ombudsman to investigate Roma family removals.

Two of Ruseva’s children in their home in Bulgaria.

But not here, not in Greece. Not yet. Not until the DNA-test proves Maria is indeed Sasha’s daughter.

According to the latest information coming from Bulgaria, it is highly possible, that little Maria is not the blonde angel “abducted from Finland or Holland or even Poland” – as media and some professors speculated last week, but an ordinary albino Gypsy, as alleged mother Sasha claimed, according to UK’s Daily Mail.

Dancing bears, snatched kids…

Now, look at this: Hundreds of parents’ of missing children from Europe and America were on wrong alert. Their hopes flew high and landed violently with a new trauma, when the DNA samples they sent to Interpol proved that they didn’t match with this of little Maria.

Why all this worldwide fuzz and buzz? Was it due to a dilettante, embarrassing,  and even success-gearing communication management of  such a sensitive issue? On part of the police, the media and anyone else involved in the case? Turnings into news personal assumptions and prejudice-loaded connotations that at the age of two, Maria would dance like a trained bear?

After all we’ve heard, read and saw (my own writing included) it doesn’t really matter if the DNA of Maria and Sasha match. It doesn’t really matter, if Maria was sold for money or was handed out for free due to poverty. It doesn’t really matter, if the family and other Roma families sell or just give their children for adoption most probably to middle-class couples who pay 10,000-25,000 euro just to hear a child laugh and dance in their yard.

Illegal adoptions” or “unofficial adoptions” as they call it in the Western world, will continue and after the mystery of Maria’s origin is solved. Of course, it matters but not in the sense I’m writing here.

At the very end it may turn out that Maria is not even the daughter of this Roma woman in Bulgaria but she was handed over and over again among several families and for some reason her story is endless and full of suspense.

…and our deep-rooted prejudice

What it shocks me more is that we get bears dancing in our heads, when we see a blonde child in a Roma yard. That we are easily disturbed and eager to complaint to police and make the world turn around in buzzing speed.

And that we don’t even think to show reaction, if we see a dark-skinned child in a yard of blondes. We assume, that it was adopted and we praise the parents for saving the life of a poor child. We would never complaint to police and question whether the couple was involved in an official or unofficial adoption with a …gypsy family. We are in peace with our conscience that somebody showed mercy to a poor, abandoned and unloved child. “Bad” are the gypsies because they sell their children, “good” are we for we adopt them.

Don’t get me wrong and it’s light years away from my intention to offend anyone.

But the case of little blonde angel Maria exposed something lurking deep inside us, whether in Greece or in foreign countries. That we accepted very easily and took for granted or were almost convinced that the blonde child was “snatched by gypsies”, one of the deepest rooted prejudices in our Western world.

And that is very shocking and not political correct at all, even we call the Gypsies “Roma“.

… and while I was writing this critical approach here came the Greek reality again and caught me asleep: Following a tip-off police arrested a couple that had recently bought a some months old child from a Roma woman in Athens for 4,000 euro. reports that dozens of phone calls reached the police during the last days, with “concerned citizens” denouncing couples who had suddenly appeared with a child.

PS From the some 58,860 people who visited KTG’s post on little Maria in the very first 24 hours, only one woman on Twitter suggested “the blonde girl might indeed be a Roma girl.” Only one.

A couple of days later, a KTG-reader from Germany drew again my attention to the issue.

And a last word: The Council of Europe issued a statement speaking of “irresponsible media reporting on Roma propagate negative myths“. No, dear, Council of Europe, it’s not just the media, it’s also those in charge who pass and stir such information to the media.





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