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Mother becomes only black woman in the world to give birth to two white babies to beat millions-to-one odds

Mum is world's only black woman to have two white babies

  • Catherine Howarth is of Nigerian heritage, while her husband Richard is white
  • She first had a white son with blue eyes, now has a white, blue-eyed baby girl
  • The odds of a black woman having two white children is 'millions-to-one'
  • She said: 'I get tired of being stopped in street by people asking if I'm the nanny' 
  • Doctors say genetic quirk due to white gene present in woman's ancestry 

A black mother who gave birth to a million-to-one, white, blue-eyed baby boy has stunned doctors by having a second white child.

Financial analyst Catherine Howarth, 35, who is of Nigerian heritage, believed the rare recessive white gene that resulted in son Jonah, three, being completely white would not strike a second time.

So she was stunned when the midwife handed her daughter Sophia and she was as white as her big brother.

Catherine Howarth, who is of Nigerian hertiage, is believed to be the only black woman in the world to give birth to two white, blue-eyed children, the odds of which are millions-to-one

Catherine Howarth, who is of Nigerian hertiage, is believed to be the only black woman in the world to give birth to two white, blue-eyed children, the odds of which are millions-to-one

The mum from Milton Keynes, Bucks, believes she is the only black mother in the world to have given birth to two white, blue-eyed children.

She said said: 'When Jonah was born, a genetic specialist said he was a one-in-a-million baby. He said it was extraordinary with my African background that I'd had a child with blue eyes and pale skin. 

'He calculated the possibility of it happening again was less than one in a million.

'So when Sophia was born with white skin and blue eyes I was more than taken back with shock. It seems the odds of it happening twice are millions-to-one. No-one has heard of a black mum having two white babies one after the other.'

While husband Richard, 37, an engineer, is completely white, the couple from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire thought their second child would be much darker than their first.

Blue-eyed wonders: Son Jonah (right) is now three, while daughter Sophia was born last March

Blue-eyed wonders: Son Jonah (right) is now three, while daughter Sophia was born last March

Catherine said: 'When I had Jonah he was so white both Richard and I thought the midwife had given us the wrong child. But if anything, having Sophia has been even more of a shock because we were sure it couldn't happen twice.

'I was stunned when I saw her blue eyes and light skin.'

Doctors were equally amazed when Sophia was born last March.

She adds: 'Each time doctors and midwives have all commented on our babies' amazing colouring. People often get confused when they meet me with the children for the first time. 

'You can see them doing a double take, wondering if I am their mum. I do get tired of being stopped in the street by people asking if I'm the nanny. People seem to find it hard to understand how I could give birth twice to white children.

'Happy and healthy is all that matters': Catherine Howarth pictured with Jonah
'Happy and healthy is all that matters': Richard Howarth pictured with Jonah

'Happy and healthy is all that matters': Catherine and Richard Howarth, pictured with Jonah

'But when people get to know us more, they often say despite their blue eyes and white skin, they can also see a lot of my characteristics.'

Catherine is of Nigerian decent with no white genes in her family. 

'My parents were from Nigeria and as far back as anyone can recall my family have all been black.

'The only explanation seems to be there must have been a white gene in my family that has remained dormant for years until now. And now it seems to be very dominant.'

Despite the initial shock, the couple are delighted with their miracle children.

When Jonah was born, his stunning looks attracted the attention of five modelling agencies.

His little sister, ten months, is now set to follow in his footsteps as she has already been signed up to talent agencies. At just three weeks she landed her first modelling job.

Jonah and Sophia's distinctive looks have attracted the interest of various modelling agenices
Jonah and Sophia's distinctive looks have attracted the interest of various modelling agenices

Jonah and Sophia's distinctive looks have attracted the interest of various modelling agenices

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NHS doctor explains the risks of skin cancers




Dad Richard said: 'While it is interesting how the genes have aligned themselves, it doesn't matter to us what colour our children's skin is. We just feel incredibly lucky to have a beautiful son and daughter. Having healthy and happy kids is all that matters.'

Colleen Lynch, a Molecular Geneticist at Care Fertility said: 'While you might imagine this couple would have babies who are a mixture of both their skin tones, there are so many genes involved that it is a million-to-one chance they have had white babies.

'It is likely there is a a white gene somewhere in the woman's remote ancestry and due to an evolutionary throwback - known as atavism - this trait has suddenly reappeared.'

Meanwhile, Prof Ian Jackson from the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh said if the couple go on to have more children they could also be white. 

'Once such a couple get together, the chances of any of their children having pale skin would be one in four or even one in two.' 

 

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Comment by red bone on January 31, 2017 at 12:51pm
Don't look white to me. Your hair tells the story. Not the skin color. They black. Real black.
Comment by Sandra on January 31, 2017 at 8:19am
Awww they are so beautiful
Comment by kat wig on January 30, 2017 at 1:49pm
Well im just down right confused ! You know how many babies and grown folks I see like this EVERYDAY with one parent just as dark as me with a white parent!
Comment by K. LeBlanc on January 30, 2017 at 1:12pm
I'm happy most of us are in agreement.
Comment by K. LeBlanc on January 30, 2017 at 1:12pm
I truly hate the ASSANINE headlines of some of these articles.
Comment by Shani on January 30, 2017 at 12:30pm
So true heavy leads!
Comment by Heavy Leads on January 30, 2017 at 12:19pm

Why is this even a featured story worthy of reporting??? They look like two healthy biracial kids, the product of a white parent and a black parent. There are MANY kids that look similarly all over the world. There are even kids throughout the Caribbean that look like this and they do NOT have a white father or mother. Let's pay attention to more pressing and important issues folks!

Comment by hasina zuberi on January 30, 2017 at 4:15am

What rubbish!

Comment by Karen dickey on January 30, 2017 at 4:04am
Ok
Comment by mssusieqno1 on January 30, 2017 at 12:26am
Just high yellow blacks. And I know a woman whose kids father is white and she's black. And a boy and a girl. So she is not the first and won't be the last either. Next!

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