Black Couple Surprised When Newborn Daughter is White
Imagine the surprise of a black Nigerian couple in London when they discovered their newborn baby was a white girl.
No, it's not the second coming of Michael Jackson.
Professor Bryan Sykes, the head of human genetics at Oxford University, tells the British newspaper The Sun there's a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation for this sort of phenomenon: These things happen.
But they don't happen often. Ben and Angela Ihegboro tell the newspaper they didn't think they had any white ancestry, but Sykes says there must be a white skeleton in one of their family closets for Angela to give birth July 19 to a California surfer girl.
Newborn Nmachi has blue eyes and blond hair that would put Paris Hilton to shame.She is not, however, albino. Sykes tells The Sun that Ben and/or Angela must "have some form of white ancestry" in their DNA blueprint for such characteristics to be tucked away and forgotten in the back pocket of their genes.
It's puzzling, Sykes tells the newspaper.
"This might be the case where there is a lot of genetic mixing, as in Afro-Caribbean populations," he says. "But in Nigeria, there is little mixing."
Sykes adds Nmachi's appearance is a mystery all the way around.
"The hair is extremely unusual," he tells the newspaper. "Even many blonde children don't have blonde hair like this at birth."
Ben Ihegboro, 44, was understandably, uh, concerned when Nmachi was born.
"Actually, the first thing I did was look at her and say, 'What the flip?' " he tells the Sun. "I'm sure she's my kid. I just don't know why she's blond."
Angela Ihegboro, 35, spoke like a typical new mom.
"She's beautiful -- a miracle baby," she tells the paper. In fact, the name Nmachi is Nigerian for "Beauty of God."
Nmachi is the couple's third child. She joins 4-year-old brother Chisom and 2-year-old sister Dumebi, both of whom share their parents' dark skin.
Ben Ihegboro tells the Sun that Chisom keeps staring at his new sister with a puzzled expression.
"We're a black family. Suddenly he has a white sister," he tells the paper. "Of course, we are baffled, too, and want to know what's happened. But we understand life is very strange. All that matters is that she's healthy and that we love her. She's a proud British Nigerian."
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.