Having a child is a special moment in any parent’s life. However, some children are all the more unique due to the one-in-a-million circumstances in which they are born. In 2014, 32-year-old Catherine Howarth gave birth to her son Jonah. Catherine is a black woman of Nigerian heritage, while her partner Richard is white.
This should have meant that their baby would have a mix of their complexions but, contrary to this, Jonah’s skin presents as white. Geneticists commented on how rare such occurrences are, given the interaction between genes of both parents, and have suggested Catherine might have had white ancestors she is unaware of.
Having a white partner could therefore potentially have triggered the latent white-presenting genes within Catherine, thus resulting in the strongly white-presenting features of her son. Earlier this year, against almost impossible odds, the Howarths welcomed yet another white-presenting child – this time a baby girl called Sophia.
Source: The Howarths
This year, another mixed race couple experienced a similar fate. 36-year-old Patience Chando is a mother-of-three of Zimbabwean heritage who moved to Hanover, Germany to be with her partner 49-year-old Andreas Spillea who is white and German. The couple met in Zimbabwe.
Patience had two daughters from a previous relationship – 15-year-old Faith and 17-year-old Lucricia – before welcoming her first child with Andreas, baby Andrea Mariella, into the world in April.
Since Andrea was born, Patience says the pair are stopped wherever they go as Andrea’s striking complexion turns heads and the new arrival has become “the centre of attraction”. She has auburn hair and blue eyes – a stark contrast to her mother’s black hair and brown eyes.
“I couldn’t believe it. Her skin was too white when she was born, I was sure it would tone down, which happens sometimes, but it hasn’t. It wasn’t until a few days after she was born I started to think: ‘Hold on, her skin was white. I’m her biological mother and I’m black. Every time we go out I get questioned or stopped for photographs. I’m running out of things to say to people. She’s the centre of attraction.”
Geneticists have theorised that Patience could possibly have white ancestors, but she says she has traced her ancestry and this is not the case. Dr Bryce Mendelsohn, a medical geneticist at the University of California, has however explained that this could still be possible as “people of African descent have traces of European in their ancestry, especially from populations with many geographic origins, so that could be the case here”.
Regardless of complexion, the new family is doing well and Andrea’s big sisters are enjoying getting to know their new baby sister. We can’t blame them, she’s absolutely gorgeous!
H/T: Daily Mail