'Miracle baby' couples fail test

None of the Kenyan couples laying claim to babies being held by police in a child trafficking scandal have been found to be the biological parents.

Kenyan officials carried out DNA tests on 53 couples, with further tests to be held abroad, the Daily Nation says.

A number of people have been charged over what has been called the "miracle baby" scandal where infertile women were told Jesus had given them a child.

The wife of UK-based Pastor Gilbert Deya faced further charges on Thursday.


Mary Deya was charged with stealing three more children. She now faces four charges of child theft in total.

The Kenyan and British authorities are investigating claims of child trafficking, claims which the Deyas deny.

BBC correspondent Ishbel Matheson, who was at the trial, said Mrs Deya trembled visibly when the three new theft charges were read out.

She told the chief magistrate that all of the children were hers.

"You cannot steal your own child," she said.

Mrs Deya's husband, the self-styled Archbishop Gilbert Deya, claims that infertile women can become pregnant through the power of prayer.

Women allegedly travelled to Kenya where they were said to have given birth in slum clinics, but DNA tests done on one of the children in Britain proved there was no link to the supposed mother.

A total of 20 children were seized from the Nairobi home of Mrs Deya and from another couple, the Oderas.

Initial tests showed that only one of the children belong to Mrs Deya, but police so far have failed to establish the children's real parents.


Eddah and Michael Odera are also on trial in Kenya charged with stealing 10 newborn children.

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

The Oderas insist the children are 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.

Some of the 53 couples who have been tested to establish if any of the children are theirs claim the Kenyan police mishandled the original samples and are demanding to be retested.