In Greece, a Roma child was taken away from her family because she didn’t look much like her parents. DNA testing revealed that she was not their biological child and so the authorities thought that she had been kidnapped. Turns out, she hadn’t been; her biological mother had given her up because she was too poor to keep her.
Something similar then happened in Ireland where two Roma children were removed from their families because, again, they did not look like their parents. This time, the DNA test results showed that the children were with their biological parents. The children have been returned to their families.
These events are disturbing for a couple of different reasons. The first is the strong whiff of prejudice associated with them. The authorities appear to have assumed that these children were kidnapped because they were living among the Roma (more commonly known as gypsies). I haven’t heard of any children being removed and tested from any other communities. And believe me, if these kids were taken only because they looked different from their parents, lots more kids would have been removed from their families.
Which brings us to the second disturbing part of the story—the lack of understanding of genetics by the authorities that are taking these children away from their parents. Parents can and do have children who look very different from themselves. And sometimes as this video shows, the differences can be quite extreme: