A Roma woman in Bulgaria said today that police have questioned her about whether she is the mother of a girl found living with an unrelated couple in Greece, and that she is willing to do a DNA test and take the child back if she is proved to be hers. The search for the parents of the girl known as "Maria" apparently led to central Bulgaria, where police tracked down 38-year-old Sasha Ruseva in the town of Nikolaevo. Speaking to Bulgarian TV, Ruseva said that she gave birth to a girl while working in Greece "several years ago," but that she had to leave the child because she didn't have enough money to take her home.
Ruseva has had eight children. "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. Maria's case has gained international attention and drawn what some say is unwarranted and unfair attention to the Roma, or Gypsy, community in Europe, many of whose members live in poverty and have been linked to crime. (Read more Greece stories.)