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Black Parents. White Baby. What Happened?

By ceridwen |

A blonde, white baby has been born to a black couple.

I’ve heard bits and pieces of the story, but the pictures released to The Sun yesterday are extraordinary. The sweet Nigerian dad swears up and down that it’s his baby; experts agree the baby is not an albino and geneticists are puzzled. Recessive genes can bring ancestral traits to the fore,  but this British/Nigerian couple don’t know of any white ancestors. Even if there were white ancestors on both sides, this radical difference in coloring is hard, if not impossible to explain.

Professor Bryan Sykes, head of Human Genetics at Oxford University and Britain’s leading expert, said, “in mixed race humans, the lighter variant of skin tone may come out in a child – and this can sometimes be startlingly different to the skin of the parents. This might be the case where there is a lot of genetic mixing, as in Afro-Caribbean populations. But in Nigeria there is little mixing.”  He added ”The hair is extremely unusual. Even many blonde children don’t have blonde hair like this at birth.”

Caroline Castiglia over at Strollerderby brings up the question of how we define race: “maybe a child who looks white can ‘be’ black? Does it really matter?”

Professor Sykes concludes that “it is … likely that there has been some other mutation that’s happened to produce this coloring. Without further tests, that is, in my opinion, the most rational explanation.”

It must be very strange for the parents who apparently stared at the baby after delivery for a long time, dumbfounded. On some level, however, I feel like this happens to everyone who has a baby. We expect our children to be an obvious melding of two people: dad’s nose, mom’s eyes, etc. But then an entirely new person is born with such a complex blend of influences, trying to parse them seems a little silly.

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About ceridwen



Ceridwen Morris is a writer, mother, and certified childbirth educator. She is the author of several books and screenplays, including (Three Rivers; 2007). She serves on the board of The Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York and teaches at Tribeca Parenting in New York City. Read bio and latest posts → Read Ceridwen's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Black Parents. White Baby. What Happened?

  1. Ijioma Nkwobi says:

    I am not exactly sure why the parents are so surprised.. I am also of Igbo decent from nigeria. And this is so common in nigeria that no even bothers to talk about it.

  2. Christina Eller says:

    Has anyone asked where Boris Johnson was during conception?

  3. Jenny says:

    this is very strange but notshing impossible to God! Am I right?? Check also the kids life here

  4. cet4vol says:

    If all humans originate in Africa it stands to reason that the black women must have the DNA to carry any other race. I have been saying this for years and now it is proven true.

  5. Dorrie Martin says:

    Has anyone decided to do a DNA. I would love to know for sure if it were me.

  6. Nne says:

    They are Igbo….no surprise. Albinsim and various derivatives of it are SO common among Igbos of Nigeria. I believe they have one of the highest if not highest prevalence of Albinsim in Nigeria. Of course, there is also the Lost Tribe of Israel theory of Igbo orgin. Maybe this and albinism are just 1,000 year old genes resurfacing.

  7. benishto says:

    There is an old african saying “that with horns cannot be rapped”

  8. Dalyte says:

    For every child God choose parents, which ones are the best for that particular child. So in my opinion that what has happend in this case. And doctors can look for answers everywhere they not going to find the true. It’s just God’s miracle!!! SIMPLES!!!

  9. M. Bior says:

    A fish;”Paul” the octopus predicts correctly the results of FIFA world cup in South Africa is confirms the biblical assertion that a donkey spoke to Ballam. Likewise, the birth of a white child with blonde hair, blue eyes to black parents says it all; regardless of external features, human being is one race and from the same parents Adam % Eve created by God.

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