A DNA test has found that a blonde-haired, blue-eyed child taken from a Roma family by Dublin’s police force is their biological daughter, according to Sky News.
Doubts had already been raised about the child in Dublin, with The Irish Times reporting that the parents had produced both birth certificate and a passport to support their claims.
This is actually the second time this month that Irish police took a child from a Roma family and later returned him, the previous one being a 2-year-old boy in the Midlands region of Ireland.
The Guardian reports that it is not clear if a DNA test influenced this decision.
The Irish case also echoes the removal of another blonde girl from a Roma camp near the town of Larissa in central Greece. That girl, named “Maria”, was found not to be a genetic match to the couple who claimed to be her parents.
Together these stories sparked a continent-wide controversy about the possibility that Roma gangs were responsible for the trafficking of stolen children.
Many observers, however, worried that the case was leading to a witch hunt against Europe’s Roma communities, historically some of the most isolated and persecuted people in Europe.
Traveller support group Pavee Point has complained about the Irish cases, saying that the removal of children from their families was being treated as “a matter of first resort and not as a matter of last resort.”
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