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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

White Baby Born to Black Parents

When Nmachi Ihegboro was born, her 44-year-old father, Ben, asked the doctors if they were sure he was her father. That's because he, his wife Angela, and the Ihegboro's other two children, are black; Nmachi Ihegboro is white -- with blue eyes, and full head of blonde curls! Even more astonishing, doctors have ruled-out albinoism. "She's my kid," Ben said, "I just don't know why she's blonde!" 35-year-old Angela called Nmachi "a miracle baby."

Ben and Angela Ihegboro are from Nigeria, but both now live in South London, where Nmachi was born. Nigeria's population has very little racial mixing, and the only way a baby like Nmachi would ever be born is if both parents had "some white ancestry," according to Professor Bryan Sykes, Britain's leading genetics expert. Neither has a mixed-race family history. Even if Angela had cheated on Ben with a white man, the child would not look like little Nmachi.

Professor Sykes called the birth "extraordinary" and noted that "Even many blonde children don't have blonde hair like this at birth." Five years ago, Kylie Hodgson of Nottingham gave birth to twin daughters, one of which was black, the other, white. Even though Kylie and her partner, Remi Horder, were a mixed couple, the odds of that happening were estimated at a million to one.

"Nmachi" means "Beauty of God."

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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