Why Little Maria is Blonde While Her Roma Parents Are Not


Little blonde mystery girl Maria is not an “abducted western baby” found in Greece but a Roma girl from Bulgaria that is possibly an albino.

DNA tests proved that her biological parents are Roma from Bulgaria, Sasha Ruseva and Atana Rusev. They claimed that they left her in Greece with another Roma couple because they did not have money to raise her.

But how did this Roma couple with dark features come to have children with blond hair, fair skin and blue eyes? The key to the mystery might be an “albino gene” Atanas Rusev carries, according to the Daily Mail. In this case the biological children are affected by it and thus they have blonde hair and light features.

What is Albinism?

Albinism is an inherited condition present at birth, which results from the inheritance of recessive genes, alleles. An allele is one of a number of alternative forms of the same gene or same group of genes.

Albinism -also called achromia, achromasia, or achromatosis- is characterized by a reduced or lack of pigment that normally gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes due to absence or defect of tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme involved in the production of melanin.

Relatives of little Maria have said that she was taken to a hospital because she was having problems with her eyes. According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus albinism also affects the human eye.

Albinos may suffer from Preferred head turn or tilt, Strabismus, Photophobia, hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism,optic nerve misrouting and iris transillumination. Vision can range from normal for those minimally affected, to legal blindness (vision less that 20/200) or worse for those with more severe forms of albinism. Near vision is often better than distance vision. Generally, those who have the least amount of pigment have the poorest vision.

However according to the same organization only one person in 17,000 has some type of albinism.

Most children with albinism are born to parents who have normal hair and eye color for their ethnic backgrounds. Some patients with albinism have white hair and very light blue eyes, while others have blonde hair and blue eyes and might not even know they have albinism as their signs are so subtle.


AAPOS notes that for most types of albinism, both parents must carry an albinism gene to have a child with albinism. Parents may have normal pigmentation but still carry the gene.

When both parents carry the gene (we do not yet know if Maria’s mother also carries an albinism gene) and neither parent has albinism, there is a one-in-four chance in each pregnancy that the baby will be born with albinism.

The Roma family from Bulgaria that DNA tests showed is Maria’s biological family, already have two children, that according to their parents are albinos. If Maria is in fact an albino it will be their third child with albinism.


  1. this is just again a hoax. You can see clearly that Maria in NOT an albino. (Jewish)Mass media wants just to cover up again the well known fact, that gypsies abduct children, since that would just strengthen the “prejudices” against them.

  2. This is yet another bogus explanation of why Maria is blonde. She is blonde like her biological sibling who is also blonde. As I said at the beginning of this ongoing saga, where again Roma are being accused of kidnapping children, some Roma are blonde. End of story. Investigate the illegal adoption of this little girl and any other illegal adoptions that are going on. Investigate the procedure of registering children. Investigate buying and selling of children. But continually questioning how or why this little girl is blonde is clouding the issue. She is blonde. Like her younger sibling. Get over it.

  3. Maria and her blond siblings are NOT albinos-albinos have red eyes.Maria and the other kids have blyue eyes!These Romas obviously carry some recessive Slavic genes due to mixing in the past with the Bulgarian Slavic population.Once in a while the gene takes over and that’s what you have!

  4. She’s not a full albino but she has the traits. Her hair has turned very light. Her skin is very colorless and I know that eye color that is light is not always considered healthy. It from malnutrition.

  5. All I am saying is,these kids could be albinos but could just have a Slavic recessive gene inherited from previous generations,like many gypsies in Bulgaria do.There is no way to know,so they can’t be categorized as Albinos categorically.

  6. Is it just me . Our does anyone else feel the need to help this child. For example. Create a fund to help this child with living expenses, education, exc.

  7. This girl needs to be placed in a foster home and be adopted by loving parents that are NOT Romas,either in Greece or Bulgaria.Otherwise she will end up being married and pregnant at 12 or possibly sold again through the human trafficking channels! I just read in the Bulgarian press that the Bulgarian Social Services removed the three youngest children from the Roma family and they are placed now in a children’s facility and will be up for adoption.

  8. I contacted the Bulgarian Interior Minister Mr.Svetlozar Lazarov with a plea to adopt one of the two girls here in the States,but I have no reply so far.I guess legally the whole thing is a big mess right now as both Roma families want Maria back and the Bulgarian Roma family does not want to give up their parenting rights on Maria and the other two children.I am sending you a link with the Bulgarian Interior Ministry contact form to write to Mr. Svetlozar Lazarov :


  9. Albinos only have RED eyes when there is very little pigment in the iris, thus showing red blood cells behind the iris which make the eyes look red or pink. More commonly, Albinos have green or blue eyes …..

  10. I live in Colombia, South America. The first idea that comes to my mind to help the “angel” girl is to create a fund to support her and the rest of her biological family: parents and sibligns. I suppose they are poor because the isolation of gipsy families in the world. I see the children seem happy and close each other despite the place they live. I understand there are many hands raised claiming to adopt. Why Maria would like the people do for her?

  11. very ironic story nothing here was what it seems it was and the gypsies
    didn’t lie..at least it was good to put an eye in the unfortunate situation those people live..

  12. Why this girl and not all of the other Roma children of the world? Because she is blonde? The conditions she has grown up in are not out of the ordinary for the Roma of Europe.

  13. there is no partial albinism. Either you have it or you don’t. She probably does have albinism. People with albinism do not have red eyes. The red is from light bouncing back of their retina that has little pigment in it, much like red eye from the flash of a camera.

  14. That’s ridiculous. There is no such thing as a recessive ethnicity gene. Every trait a person has is governed by separate genes, like hair color, eye color, and skin color. Yes, blonde hair and blue eyes are both recessive genes, but if she’s had visual issues and her relatives have dark hair, she almost certainly has albinism. Furthermore, there is no such thing as red eyes. People with albinism tend to appear to have red eyes at times, but the effect is the same as anyone having redeye when a picture is taken. Because of the lack of pigment (color) in the eye of a person with albinism, light can pass through the iris (the typically colored part of the eye) to the back of the eye, and reflect back. The back of the eye is red, hence the color. There are also many types of albinism. I have albinism, and all of my family has black or brown hair. My hair is a strawberry blonde and my eyes are a deep blue; I don’t look like the stereotypical albino. The coloring isn’t the biggest deal about albinism though; the visual issues is. They include nystagmus (eyes shaking uncontrollably), astigmatism, strabismus, extreme light sensitivity, etc. Most people with albinism are legally blind. I’m legally blind, can’t drive, and so on.
    Before you act SO sure of yourself in diagnosing these children as not having a disability, you should try to learn something about that disability beyond whatever stereotypes you’ve picked up from pop culture.

  15. I HAVE albinism, and there is no such thing as being a “full albino.” Albinism is a disability that clearly you know nothing about. If she has albinism, she was born with very light hair, light eyes, and almost no vision. My vision steadily improved until I turned around twelve. Similarly, my hair color and eye color darkened slightly until then. I don’t “look” albino because I have strawberry blonde hair and light blue eyes, but I’m also legally blind. The vision is the big issue with albinism. I’d take white hair and “red” eyes (which appear so because of a lack of color in the iris, causing light to reflect off the back of the eye which is red) to low vision any day. Unfortunately, the media loves to sensationalize our “freaky” appearance instead of focusing on the actual problems: low vision (most people with albinism are legally blind), severe light sensitivity, and a much higher rate of skin cancer and sunburns.

    You have no idea how malnourished this little girl is or isn’t, and you should try, for once, to reserve your judgments.

  16. And how can you see clearly that Maria is “NOT an albino,”? Are you a licensed ophthalmologist? A parent of someone with albinism? A person with albinism, like me? I doubt it. She looks a lot like I did at her age, but there’s no way you can tell from a picture. If she has a nystagmus (uncontrollably shaky eyes), extreme light sensitivity, and/or generally low vision, then chances are she has albinism. Do your research before condemning the media or anyone else for something you know next to nothing about.

  17. That’s right. There is a website by this girl named Bianca, and you can see a lot of albino children with blue eyes.

  18. These kids are albinos. They have all the qualities: white skin, blue eyes, white blonde hair.

  19. It’s good that you have commented, as there are people here who don’t know what they’re talking about.

  20. I, too, am worried about Maria. I hope she winds up with a family that will love her and be able to provide a good life for her. I really don’t think that she should be sent back to her biological parents to live a life of grinding poverty. The people she was with are in trouble with the law, getting money for 14 children that don’t exist. That’s why they had so much money coming in every month. I hope Maria will be alright.

  21. You don’t know what you’re talking about. What’s the “Jewish” thing thrown in here? This isn’t about religion; it’s not a “hoax.” Maria has albinism. How can you “see clearly” that she is not? There are several children in her biological family with the same looks and one little boy looks like he has trouble with his eyes, as well.

  22. Don’t you just wished that you had a bit of Albanism in you? That way you could feel more Greek in your Golden Dawn mantra bashing immigrants. You may have some Albaniaism & Turkishism mixed with Greekism which has made you psychotic due to the clashes of these unfriendly genes

  23. I have seen a website that a girl named Bianca puts out and there are pictures of children and adults that have albinism and they are beautiful. I think the white blonde hair is gorgeous. They are the same as any other people, except for their coloring. The people who Maria was with said that she had “trouble with her eyes.” People here, like GoldenEyes, for instance, should go on the web and learn about albinism before they make remarks.

  24. If think that Greece should keep her & Maria can be the poster child for Golden Dawn. “Now, this is Greece” Nikos Michaelos fans can chant.

  25. BS.Of course that there is a such thing as different ethnicity gene that can be conveyed in future generations.If you have ever been in Bulgaria,you would know that there are a lots of blond,light skinned ,blue eyed gypsies in Bulgaria.To imply that all of them are Albinos is preposterous , not to mention mathematically impossible ,as Albinism is an extremely rare condition.Some of these people have inherited Slavic genes from the Native Bulgarian Slavic population they mixed up.There are gypsy women pregnancies where the father is a white Bulgarian man,it happens all the time.For example.Atanas Rusev,Maria’s father himself is a stolen child, he is half Slavic/ Bulgarian,in case you don’t know.That’s where Maria and the two other kids have inherited their Slavic gene from!I am repeating again,yes ,there are some Gypsy albinos due to incest, however here that’s not the case and can’t be proved with an absolute certainty.

  26. Most Human Albinos do not have red eyes. They have light blue to blue and occasionally have red/purple tinted eyes.

  27. Well said, Kat. I, too, have albinism. I’m one of 7 kids; only 3 of which have albinism. I wanna’ know if Ted is a geneticist or something! He seems to have ignored the fact that the girl’s BIOLOGICAL FATHER carries the recessive gene for albinism!
    In Ted’s defense (sort of,) there COULD be signs of a different ethnicity, BUT that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have albinism as well; remember that she was taken to doctors because SHE WAS HAVING TROUBLE WITH HER VISION!!!!

  28. Ted- nobody said that ALL of the ‘blond, light skinned, blue-eyed Gypsies in Bulgaria’ have albinism! This articl is about ONE LITTLE GIRL!! Furthermore, did YOU perform some sort of genetic testing to figure out which gene(s) contributed to this little girl’s coloring?! You ASSUME ‘there are some Gypsy albinos DUE TO INCEST;’ well… genius at work again! (YES, that was meant to be sarcastic!) People with albinism are not necessarily the result of incest!
    I am not an expert in the area of genetics, but I do consider myself very knowledgeable in the area of the condition called ‘albinism.’ I, as well as 2 of my 6 siblings, have this condition. Why don’t you give valid REASONS- as opposed the THEORIES- that support YOUR opinion and OPPOSE other possible ideas (that the girl POSSIBLY has albinism?)
    The pic below is me (right) & my 2 sisters- one of which also has albinism. I didn’t take the time to find a pic of all 7 of us.

  29. Kat is correct; you either have albinism or you don’t. There are, however, varying degrees of its severity. Some people with this condition are born with little to no pigment, while others may have a little bit of pigment, thus making their complexion not quite as light as those with no pigment. The visual deficit varies as well, but most with albinism are legally blind & very light sensitive.

  30. That’s what I’ve been saying all along .No one performed any genetic testing on Maria to know if she is Albino or have Slavic genes.Albinos are often ,though not always , result of incest,but in this case there is NO evidence that Maria’s parents are even distant relatives.Her father is not Roma,he is half Slavic Bulgarian ,so that’s where she more likely she inherited her fair looks.It does not take a nuclear physicist to figure it out,right?

  31. There is such a thing as genes but there is no such thing as “ethnicity gene”. You have no idea what you talking about

  32. Don’t take TediUSA seriously. He claims to be against racism… but then keep making racist comments on Greek Reporter (mocking ROMA in this instance). He seems to be some sort of ultra nationalist that’s obesssed with Greeks.

  33. The writer of this story didn’t say with 100% certainty that Maria had albinism; they merely said it was a POSSIBILITY! Notice they also used the word ‘might’ within the article.

    In regard to your question about it taking a nuclear physicist to figure this out- no, this is a question to be figured out by a geneticist. Does that happen to be your are of expertise? You have certainly made a few statements that would suggest that you think you are.

    Suggestions are different from facts, just as are opinions. It just really irritates me when someone states their OPINION as if they know it to be factual.

  34. If you read the article carefully and the comments underneath,you will see that the talk is this girl definitely being an Albino.Albinos have extremely pale skin,almost alabaster , snow white hair etc. Maria’s look is way much darker to be an Albino.Her hair is blond,not white! I am no geneticist but neither are you or the person who wrote the above article .What I am saying is ,is more likely that Maria’s Slavic genes are overexpressed as they are with many Bulgarian gipsies who mixed up with the native Bulgarian Slavic population at some point in time.You know that the Slavic people are blond,fair skinned,blue eyed,right?Maria’s father is half White Bulgarian,she simply inherited some of these genes.What is here do difficult to understand?

  35. Oh, so anyone who doesn’t post positive reviews on Greece is considered a “Racist” ? LOL. I quess criticism is not taken well in Greece? By the way,I am not the one using the word “Racist”.Have a Good Day.

  36. Well, it is not difficult for me to understand that you have your mind made up & apparently think you know enough about albinism, genetics, gypsies, & the Bulgarian Slavic population to come to a direct conclusion. That is your prerogative. Hope you have a nice day as well.

  37. If you read the article, it says that people with albinism can have very subtle symptoms. I have strawberry blonde hair and “regular” blue eyes, because I have what is known as OCA1B. This means my symptoms are less severe than a person with OCA1A like your stereotypical white haired albino.

    Genetically, both blonde hair and blue eyes are recessive genes, meaning both parents would have to carry these genes recessively and there is a one in four chance that their child would have blonde hair, and a one in four chance that their child would have blue eyes. These are separate. If both of the parents had recessive Slavic genes, there would be a one in sixteen chance that their child would have blonde hair and blue eyes.
    This is a very simplistic explanation. Go ask your high school biology teacher. They can probably explain it in a way you can better understand.

    Your suggestion that albinism is “often” a result of incest would be offensive if it weren’t so absurd. That’s like saying red hair, blue eyes, or any other recessive gene is the result of incest. Albinism has been observed in every species of living thing on earth, even plants. It’s a mutation, and there are many different types. One in a hundred people carries some form of recessive albinism, but the chances of two people who carry the same type coming together and having a child with albinism is one in 17,000 in first world countries. Some populations have higher occurrences of albinism than others.
    I’m not saying Maria definitely has albinism. However, as I said earlier, there is no such thing as a “Slavic gene.” Maria has light hair and skin compared to her parents, and visual issues. She sounds like a classic case of albinism. You know nothing about this condition; kindly stop pretending that you do!

  38. Kat- you’ve done your homework! Great job! Thanks for your articulate explanation; very well done! I appreciate your input & your willingness to stand up for those of us who truly DO understand this topic. Have a great day!

  39. Bulgaria’s State Agency for Child Protection is seeking her return. I’m sure they will find an adoptive family for her in Bulgaria if she isn’t returned to her biological parents. If that happens, her biological parents should still be allowed visitation rights and not shut off from her completely. Also, given recent news such as the WA couple charged with homicide by abuse of their adopted Ethiopian-born daughter and the death of the adopted Russian boy in TX earlier this year, I wouldn’t think Bulgaria would entertain adoption requests from the US anytime soon in Maria’s case, if a loving and caring family is found in her home country. BTW Russia still has a ban on US adoptions.

  40. Um…Kind of scary that TediUSA wants to adopt the Roma girls given all of his talk about Slavic genes and incest.

  41. Mr. Smith. Thank you for your concern about Angel Maria. Like you and your wife, my fiance and I have been interested in adopting Maria and building a home for her in the U.S. I have made inquiries to the Greek Embassy here in Washington DC but I have got nowhere. Have you had any luck in helping this child? If I can not adopt Maria and provide her a home I would like to do what I can to help her and see that she does find a loving home. As an education advocate who has worked on children’s issues at the highest levels of the federal government, I believe if you can save one child you save the day.

  42. Maria inspired my wife and I to attend a foster/adopt meeting. However, the Recruter was talking of. Children in USA with the mothers being meth/crack drug addicts.
    Abuse, neglect beyond anything my mind can wrap around.

  43. these kids are not albino and dna test show they find out the real parent of this girl and now and you can know different between albino and blond child
    you are ignorant


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.