Kenya ‘miracle baby’ trial starts

A couple have gone on trial in Kenya charged with stealing 10 newborn children, in what has become known as the “miracle babies scandal“.

The pair allegedly kidnapped the babies, claiming that they were blessed with them after a UK-based minister prayed on their behalf.

DNA tests have revealed that none of the children is biologically linked to either Eddah or Michael Odera.

Officials are conducting tests to find out who might be the natural parents.

‘God’s gift’

According to Mr and Mrs Odera, their 11 children are all gifts from God, miracles that came after the once childless couple asked the UK-based minister Gilbert Deya to pray for them.

Prosecutors originally charged the Nairobi couple with stealing one baby and then released Mrs Odera on bail.

The BBC’s Peter Greste in Mombasa says she has been re-arrested, and she and her husband have been charged with an extra 10 counts of baby-stealing.

Some 53 couples have come forward claiming to be biological parents.

But the Oderas insist the children are indeed miracles and it would be unreasonable to expect God to deliver babies that carry their own DNA.

In all, the authorities have taken 21 children into their care, including one from a woman in the UK and a further nine from the Nairobi home of Mr Deya.

Mr Deya’s wife, Mary, has also been charged and she is appearing in court on Wednesday.

The minister is in Scotland fighting extradition, saying he would not receive a fair trial in Kenya.

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Nov. 3, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday November 4, 2004.
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