The family is from the town of Nikolaevo in central Bulgaria, where they live in extreme poverty in a two-room house in a Roma camp.
Sasha Ruseva is believed to have given birth in a hospital in central Greece in January 2009, according to Bulgarian National Television.
(Four of the Ruseva children in Bulgaria, the child on the left bearing a striking resemblance to Maria)
Prosecutors in Bulgaria have pressed preliminary charges against Ms Ruseva of “deliberately selling a child while residing out of the country” after she admitted that she had once left a child behind in Greece. She has now given a DNA sample for testing.
In video footage shown on Bulgarian television, Ms Ruseva is seen standing outside a police station where she tells reporters:
“We have given out some children for free. We have taken no money, we never took any money. We just couldn’t feed the child. Also my daughter lost her husband, there is nobody to look after our 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.”