A Black British couple have given birth to a genetically White baby girl. The proud parents, Ben & Angela Ihegboro, were shocked when they first laid eyes on their light skinned blonde haired baby girl, who they named Nmachi, whose name means “Beauty of God” in the Nigerian couple’s homeland.
Doctors determined that the baby is not an albino (a condition which is characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin) but attribute her appearance to an unknown genetic mutation.
Genetic experts are confused and amazed because neither parents has any mixed-race family history.
“We both just sat there after the birth staring at her.” Mother Angela, 35, of Woolwich, South London, beamed as she said, “She’s beautiful – a miracle baby.”
The father, Ben, said he was so shocked when Nmachi was born, he even joked: “Is she MINE?”
The first thing I said, was ‘What the flip?’ We both just sat there after the birth staring at her for ages — not saying anything. She doesn’t look like an albino child anyway — not like the ones I’ve seen back in Nigeria or in books. She just looks like a healthy white baby,” explained Ben.
He added, “My mum is a black Nigerian, although she has a bit fairer skin than mine. But we don’t know of any white ancestry. We wondered if it was a genetic twist. But even then, what is with the long curly blonde hair?”
Ben Ihegboro was also quick to dispell any suggestion of foul play, saying, “My wife is true to me. Even if she hadn’t been, the baby still wouldn’t look like that.”
Mom Angela Ihegboro admitted that she was “speechless” when she first saw her baby girl, who was delivered by C-section.”
Professor Bryan Sykes, head of Human Genetics at Oxford University and Britain’s leading expert, yesterday called the birth “extraordinary”.
He 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.”
Prof Sykes said BOTH parents would have needed “some form of white ancestry” for a pale version of their genes to be passed on.
But he added, “The hair is extremely unusual. Even many blonde children don’t have blonde hair like this at birth.”
The expert said some unknown mutation was the most likely explanation. He admitted: “The rules of genetics are complex and we still don’t understand what happens in many cases.”
The couple also have two other children that in no way resemble their new little sister.
The family revealed how their son Chisom, four, was even more confused than them by his new sister. Ben said: “Our other daughter Dumebi is only two so she’s too young to understand. “But our boy keeps coming to look at his sister and then sits down looking puzzled.
“We’re a black family. Suddenly he has a white sister.” Ben continued: “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.”