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[personal profile] underthewillows
Remember the case of the Greek Roma couple with the "blonde angel" child that kicked the whole tawdry affair in Ireland off?

Well, news to hand indicates that no, the Greek couple aren't the biological parents.

But it turns out the girl is not a White Christian possibly Eastern European, possibly Northern European child stolen by Gypsies.

Yes, another blue-eyed, blonde-haired, fair-skinned child is ethnically Roma. According to this story, her mother is a Bulgarian Roma woman who was working in Greece as itinerant farm labour (olive picking), and gave over her baby to the couple when it was born because she was too poor to look after it herself.

Which is the story the original couple have been telling all along: they informally 'adopted' the child who was given to them by the mother.

Well, the Bulgarian authorities are trying to charge the birth mother with "child selling" (even though there's no evidence to date that I am aware of that she received any money for her baby) and the Greek authorities have charged the Greek couple with abduction (how well that charge will hold up when all parties claim it was voluntary and consensual exchange, I don't know) and document fraud.

Ah, that last is the kicker. Now we've moved on from "Gypsies stealing our White children" (when the child isn't one of our White children, she's fair-skinned Roma) to "Welfare cheats, dole scroungers, benefit fraud" and Gypsies, tramps and thieves as the Cher song had it.

They have been jailed pending trial, and are also suspected of fraudulently obtaining birth certificates for 14 children.

Greek authorities are trying to work out whether the children all exist, or whether the alleged document fraud was part of a welfare scam.

The couple allegedly received more than €2,500 a month in family benefits.

They insist they were looking after Maria with their own five children after an informally arranged adoption.


Now, maybe there was a scam going on. Maybe they were gaming the system. I have no idea. But at the moment, given the amount of confusion, hysteria, and resurrection of old stereotypes, old canards, and blatant racism as demonstrated in the Greek case and in the two children temporarily taken into care in my own country - I'm taking everything with a sack-full of salt.
From: [personal profile] sweet_heather_marie
I just came across this after searching for a final update to this story and I have to say I agree 100% with your thoughts on this case. Do you know of the final outcome of Maria and her placement? It sadly seemed to me that once DNA testing identified, Maria, as a biological "Gypsy," that interest in this story disappeared. After locating and interviewing her biological family, the story was dropped without reporting her final placement, the outcome of the family she was found with or even just her overall well being. I wish very much to send supplies to her as the conditions of her biological family broke my heart. But even more I am bothered by what seemed to me as widespread mistreatment of the Roma people. I live in the U.S. and so I understand that there is likely much history there that I am not aware of and do not understand but at some point we have to stop the hate. But even here, I emailed my local news station who also covered the story asking for a follow-up to the story just last year and haven't even been acknowledged. I'm not sure why, but this has stuck with me for the past two years. If you or anyone have an update, please inform me! Thanks!
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