Imagine the scene – you are a black father and your black wife is expecting your baby. She goes into labour and you anxiously wait to see your beautiful child brought into the light of this world; you can’t wait to hear that cry of a new born. The baby is born, but to your utter shock- the baby is white. Normally rage would ensure and many fathers would be absolutely sure the child was not theirs- their reaction would be to seek a paternity test.   However, when this happened to Ethelbert Ofor he refused a paternity test– not because he was sure the white baby couldn’t be his but because he was sure it was.

The child in question was not only white in skin colour but was also fair with blue eyes. Ofor’s child is not the first such case. In fact, earlier this year, a black couple, Ben and Angela Ihegboro gave birth to a white baby that they named Nmcachi- this despite the fact that they didn’t have a shred of white ancestry. Nmcachi is to undergo a range of genetic tests to understand how this phenomenon occurs. The chances of such babies being born from black parents are minute and scientists still do not understand how it happens.

For white children with black parents it must be more than awkward to look at their black siblings and figure this genetic conundrum. Moreover, the opposite has also happened where white parents give birth to a black child. In any of the cases mentioned, many would suspect infidelity. Another alternative possibility would have been that the child was actually an albino- albinoism happens when people lack pigments in the skin and eyes which give them colour; typically they would have red eyes and very pale, white skin.  Doctors excluded this too.

However, in the two cases described both couples knew the tricks genes can play and moreover, had full trust in their wives so that the possibility of cheating never crossed their mind- hence, both fathers refused to have a paternity test.

Scientists still have a lot of research to do regarding this phenomenon but our ancestral migration patterns definitely play a role.  In some countries, a black woman giving birth to a white child would be unquestionably taken as a sign of infidelity and the woman would even perhaps be stoned to death for adultery.

Paternity testing is accurate and reliable. It can confirm with conclusiveness whether a putative father is the true biological father of a child and has today become the only recognized, scientific means of ascertaining paternity.


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