Pageviews last month

Monday, 6 June 2011

Can you have an albino child from a white mother and a black father?

This was a question asked by one of my readers. In a word, Yes.

Albinism is an independently arising mutation which renders the body incapable of producing pigment. It is passed on as a recessive gene, so a black parent can have an unpigmented child. In fact, is is the usual state of things that an albino child will have parents who are not themselves albinos.

Now, there is more to the question than this. What if a white woman gives birth to a white child--is there any chance that the father was black? The answer to that question is also Yes, but with qualifications.

A child carries genes from both of his parents, which in turn were inherited from the grandparents. A child with one white and one black grandfather, and one white and one black grandmother, can be anything from almost completely white to almost completely black. So, if a white woman gives birth to a white baby, there are three possible reasons (granting, along with the questioner, that the father himself is not an albino):

1) The father was purely white (most common reason).
2) The father was partly white (next common reason).
3) The father and mother carry the albinism gene. If this is the case, the child will have some of its father's physical traits, but without his skin colour.

There is another question to answer: can an albino mother have a black baby? Yes, because the gene for expressing skin colour is dominant. Only if the father also has the recessive gene for albinism, and only if he passes it on to his offspring, will the offspring be albino--unless a mutation arises anew in that generation lacking the genetic capability of producing skin colour.

UPDATE JULY 11, 2011 (and later as needed)

I'm getting a lot of hits on this post, so I'll go into even further detail.

1) Q: What causes a baby to be born albino?
A: There are two basic reasons why a baby could be born albino:
1. The most common reason: Both his mother and his father carry the gene for albinism, and both of them passed that gene on to him. Such parents only have a 25% chance of having an albino child, a 50% chance of having a child who carries the albino gene, and a 25% chance of having a child without the gene for albinism. Such are the statistical chances; I've not seen any studies that show the numbers as actually observed. The odds drop to 1 in 16 for 2 albino children in a row, and 1 in 64 for three; still, better odds than having twins, so it does happen.
2. The original reason: The first albino, way back in the mists of time, was the result of a mutation in his father's line that lost the ability to produce skin pigment, combined with a mutation in his mother's line that did the same thing. This did not need to happen in the same generation; the father could have been born with the defective gene and the mother's egg spontaneously lost its function, resulting in the first fully albino genotype. Or vice versa. This obviously happened in the past, so it could happen again, but because the human genome is designed to detect and correct errors before they are passed on, the chances are minuscule.

2) Q: Do albinos always have albino children?
A: Yes, with qualifications. The children of two albinos will always come out albino. Children of an albino and an albinism carrier have a 50 per cent chance of being albino themselves. A couple in which both carry the albino gene may have all albino children, but that possibility becomes less and less likely the more children they have. If a person without the albino gene has children with an albino, all their children will carry the albino gene, but none will be albinos, except in the case of #2 above.

I know of families who had several albino children, so it can happen. But I don't know of any albinos who married each other--although one would expect that to eventually happen [BUT: see link at the bottom of the page for examples]. It's possible to raise up a whole race of albinos--such as the Albino deer herd on an army base in New York. Or the albino rabbit. Such only happens, though, under special circumstances that make up for the survival advantages that all albinos lack.

3) Can someone be almost albino?

Not exactly; there are various degrees of albinism, but only three possible genetic states:

1. Both genes (one from the father, one from the mother) carry usable information on producing pigmentation (it's actually a bit more complicated, in that there are about a dozen genes in all that have influence on skin colour). The dominant gene will be evidenced in the person's skin colour.

2. One gene contains usable information on producing pigmentation, whilst the other is an albino gene, unable to produce pigment. This person will still have skin colour based on the dominant gene, but will be able to pass on the defective gene. There's no way of telling by looking at a person if he carries the albino gene or not, as it is unexpressed.

3. Both genes (one from each parent) are albino genes, and the person is unable to manufacture any pigment. He has ruddy white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes (the default colours when no pigment is present). All he can pass on to his children are albino genes, so all of his children will be either #2 or #3, depending on the other parent.

Now, some people have genes that are just barely able to produce pigment, so they will resemble an albino in many ways: ruddy white skin, blond hair, blue eyes. But they are capable of producing some melanin, so they will be able to tan slightly (although they will burn very easily, and are likely to freckle rather than tan). But these people are not technically albinos and are usually not referred to as such, except in jest.

4) Can white people be albino?

Albinism is the inability to manufacture melanin, the main pigment in skin, hair, and the iris of the eye. Regardless of what other genetic information may be present for producing a particular colour of skin, hair, or eye, the albino is unable to use it. Thus albinos are all the same in this respect, regardless of whether they would otherwise be considered "black" or "white." This is also why someone with only one albino gene is totally normal in appearance; the gene from the other parent is able to facilitate the production of however much melanin is called for by the rest of the genetic code.

5) If white is the presence of all colors, why do albinos not have pigment?

Pigments are defined by the colour(s) of light they reflect. A green pigment, for example, reflects yellow and blue light equally, absorbing all the rest. A black pigment absorbs all colours of light; the absence of any pigment reflects all colours of light.

6) Can albino children have freckles?

This is a tricky one, but the answer is "yes." The gene for freckles, which is dominant, overrides the inability to produce melanin in albinos that have it. These freckles can be larger and more numerous than they would be on others. But again, since the gene is dominant, there is no guarantee that just because one or both parents have freckles, that any given one of their children will. Only if one or both of the parents passes on a freckle gene will the child have them.

The changes that a child will be albino are generally 0%, 25%, 50%, and 100% as follows:
0% if one of the parents does not carry an albinism gene.
25% if both parents are carriers, but not albino
50% if one parent is albino and the other a carrier
100% if both parents are albino.

I realise I left one matter hanging: why are newborn babies so light skinned, even if they are born to heavily pigmented parents?  It has nothing to do with being born albino; normally babies don't form melanin in their skin for a while after being born. This, by the way, is also why all light-skinned babies start out with blue eyes, whether or not they have darker eyes later on.

Inasmuch as there are actually four different genes, defects in which result in albinism, there are various combinations and degrees of albinism that I don't go into here. Above is just a general overview.

Inasmuch as this has been, since the day I published it, my most popular post, I've gone back and edited it a bit in the interests of accuracy.

There is another post on the topic here


  1. Hey,
    I know that all of human, mankind comes from the black woman. I also, know that a white (caucasian or albino) couple can not have a black child, but the black woman can have both black and white (caucasian or albino) child. So, i can clearly say, there is a deficiency there. There are many examples of a black woman having albino (caucasian) children and just recently, the say a caucasian couple has had a black child. I say this is a lie. I am a ethopia (etheral)woman through bloodline.

  2. You are seriously mistaken on the facts. Only people who are a mixture of black and white can have children who are either. You seem to think that all white people are albinos, confusing the presence of normal pigmentation cells with the ability to actually produce pigment in them.

  3. I have a friend that is albino, his mom is white and his dad is black. Him and his brother are all albino african americans.

  4. I'm hoping someone knowledgeable can answer the following for me: If a couple is mixed race and one of them also has albinism (aa) and the other partner is not a carrier (AA), the resulting child's race/skin color can only be the color of the AA partner? Meaning the AA partner's genes producing melanin will be dominant over the (aa) parent who has no copies of melanin producing genes? Would love your thoughts on this - thanks!

  5. If one parent is aa, all of the children will inherit that parent's albinism gene and will be carriers. They will also inherit BOTH parents' melanin genes, and will produce melanin based on a combination of the melanin-producing potential of both parents. It's a misconception that albinos have no genes for producing melanin. They do, they just lack the ability to 'turn on' those genes and make them work. They can pass the melanin producing genes on, they just can't pass on the genes to make them work. These are my thoughts.

  6. can a black albino couple have albino children?

  7. why albinos have better IQ than normal siblings?

  8. great grandfather is balck, great grandmother is white, son, brown eyes is 1/2 & 1/2? Have a child with a white woman, brown eyes, their child is white w/brown eyes, this child and an all white person have a baby and the next generation is white with blue eyes. how much negro or black is in the great grand child and the possibility of having a black child if she married white, will black come up.

  9. Many children of mixed ancestry end up darker than their darkest parent; lighter than their lightest parent is much rarer. But going several generation in a row without injecting any new dark-skinned genes into the mix will result in an all-white race in only a few generations.

  10. In an sunsequent post I mention that there are several documented cases of albinos who married each other, even for as many as 2 generations in a row. Obviously at that point, even without any scientist around to explain the genetics, it becomes obvious that two albino parents can't produce anything but albino babies, and the nascent race is extinguished.

  11. The original man and woman was black. Look it up in the ancient history of many civilizations. There is no reference to white skin in the old testament except in reference to leprosy or maybe albinoism. A true african cannot turn white with blond hair/blue eyes/straight hair no matter how long they stay out of the sun or in cold climates. The only thing that can change his skin color is leprosy, albinoism defect or vitiligo. Therefore thus explaining caucasians. There is no genetic defect or disease that can cause causes a white mans skin to turn as dark as an africans. White people can live in african for 500 years and still will never be dark like an african or have coarse, curly, nappy hair like an african. Thus, if the original man was white, where did africans come from. And please don't tell me that it's from the sun because its not and there is no disease or genetic defect to explain it. White people at best with get a sunburn and later skin cancer if exposed to constant sun and UV radiation like in africa. In the the early centuries AD everything was changed to make it appear everyone in the bible was white. This is false. Funny how people can be decieved and believe anything.

    1. So in the bible the first man was reddish or black from the clay in which he was made from and the woman who was taken from the rib of
      man was albino in color. From these
      two: receiver of all color of light
      (black) and the absence of light
      (albino-pure white) came the whole bloodline of humanity.

    2. Pure white? U mean created white. U better ask Yakub and the ppl in Patmos. How dog breeders breed dogs to look different and take different traits from one into another, so was the creation of the white man. Hence the millennia long investment in the white mans destruction of the true Afrikan/world history.

    3. "Thus, if the original man was white, where did africans come from." --Anonymous
      This is the White Man responding. The original man was not white. White is the absence of genes for color, and he had them all.

  12. ok so where did white people with black hair and brown eyes come from.. and why dont i test postive for any of those diseases and why is my hair color blonde and my eyes blue. and why is it that my uncle and my aunt have a black baby with my uncle being black and my aunt white and now my cousin is white with freckles. brown course hair and brown eyes. Why do we question God in the matters if u ask me, it doesnt matter black from white. Blue from Green. God made man and if u are of the mankind then u are his child whether science says u have a disease or not!!

    1. Albino is not a disease it is a mutation in the white race which has evolved over the years to be charactistics of the white race, therefore it would not be considered a disease. As for your cousin being black, please define because mulatto/coloured is often confused for black

  13. If someone can help me, why does a male can never be a carrier and why does the Y gene for males can't protect a male from disease such a heamophilia?

  14. The comments from the white man. Which is what( I am), are false..he is still in denial.. that he is an off spring of black defective genes, which lacks melanin. I didn't want to except the truth at first, but after much research I can't deny it anymore..( I am an albino).. their is no difference in the albino skin or eyes or hair than the so call.. white people..We the white people have that recessive gene. We are lacking, the dominant gene..which blacks have.. we are albino,(white people) the powders that be have lied for hundreds of yrs.. History is a lie, especially the history that has been taught in the us..

  15. If a black albino female marries a white male and they have children what color will the offspring be?

    1. Possibility of albino, or just white

  16. Why is everyone only talking about black and white people?? There are more races in the world, and not every black, white, or albino person will marry and have children with someone who is black or white either. What are your genetic thoughts on an albino person who has children with a Korean person? What do the children look like, what genes do they carry over? What does it matter? Contrary to popular belief, we are all human and so much more than the color of our skin.

    1. By 'white 'they mean Pale so Koreans, Asians n what have you all fall under the 'white' category and all dark and/or coloured people fall under the 'black' category.

    2. Im a albino male in my 30s and both my parents are black of west indian decent. I have a daughter, her mother is of italian decent and our daughter is white with blonde hair and blue eyes but her features are the same as mine. She is beautiful

    3. Asians ARE NOT WHITE! They are NOT considered white in the U.S AND THEY NEVER WERE! KOREANS ARE NOT WHITES!!

  17. Useful information shared. I am very happy to read this article. Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk through. I appreciate this post.
    Only Child Syndrome

  18. What do we really know about our origins?
    What is the difference between white skin and albino skin?
    How many generations would it take for a black person to turn white if they moved from Africa to Russia?
    Would a descendant of Russians ever turn black if his parents moved to Africa? If so, how many generations would it take?
    What is more believable:Black people turnig white over time or black people suddenly producing white people due to genetic mutations. Well, belief aside, what is more logical?
    Alot is writen about these issues although sadly, I must say, usually by either black supremacists, white supremacists, Afrocentrists or Eurocentrists. My point is, can one ask the questions above objectively and not be whatevercentrist about it?
    Food for thought.

    1. Yes one can. Putting aside racial bias, evidence proves that a white person can be born from two black parents(no white heritage) due to albinism. Other mutations such as red brown skinned blond haired blue eyed persons also exist among Africans and this is due to no "white heritage." It is more believable for a white person or fair person to be born black than for a black person to turn white as many Africans living in Europe do not turn white.persons who become" fairer" only show there true colour when removed from sunlight. True blacks do not change their skin. Additionally, no white has ever turned black as whites possess little melanin. There partner would have to be mulatto or more in order for the possibility of a black child to be produced....unless the white is not really "white."

  19. I'll take your questions one at a time.
    What do we really know about our origins? We are all descended from Noah's three sons and their wives.
    What is the difference between white skin and albino skin? White skin is capable of producing melanin.
    How many generations would it take for a black person to turn white if they moved from Africa to Russia? Black people will never turn white by moving.
    Would a descendant of Russians ever turn black if his parents moved to Africa? Nobody turns black.
    Can one ask the questions above objectively? No, they are mostly loaded questions.

  20. I gather you are not a student of the school of thought that in the begining there was a black man in Africa from whom we all evolved! Unless his name is Noah :-) .
    Some of his descendants, we are told, moved to Asia and turned a little white over time, a few from this group moved farther and again over time turned more white whatever the cause. It is the general view that white skin does not fare well in hot climate Another view is that with the migration from Africa, people with white skin [ignoring the cause/source of one’s whiteness or blackness] who would not thrive in Africa, flourished in climatic conditions that were fairer to their skin.
    Did one race descend from the other? If so, how? What forces are at play here; mutation, nutrition, climate…?
    Have black and white skins co-existed from the beginning i.e. no common ancestry. In my humble logic, a common ancestry would mean one existed before the other.
    Since black people can never turn white by moving, under what circumstance(s) could they if at all they could?
    Since nobody turns black, we could ascertain that the black skin is the origin or at least one of the origins.
    Noah, if at all he existed in the manner he is potrayed, lived only a short while ago with respect to the existence of man, this is what I am choosing to believe.
    What did Noah look like; black skin white skin, mixed? And his sons? What led to the difference in the skin colour of his grand children (us :-) ).
    If the only difference between white skin and albino skin is the ability to produce melanin, could we say that visually they look the same? How about white blonde hair and albino blonde hair. If presented with an arm from either an albino or a person with white skin could one tell the difference?

    The more I question, the more I realise how much there is to ask

    1. The more melanin an albino has the darker their skin. So difference between albino and white person is that white people are more of a light pink cream/ivory, sugesting some pigmentation. For this reason whites are more susceptible to freckles. As for the past, genetic mutation resulted in albino, which resulted in fair skin. Albino tribe decides to move north due to hot weather. Mingles with different degrees of African tribes. Aborigines tribe produce dark haired darker but still fair children(Aussie). African produced mulattoes. Mixture with african tribe in asia results in Asian looking mixture. Some Asian tribes plus albino led to certain Chinese. Albino plus Asia led to the ancestors of modern Europe. The varying degrees of mixing would lead to tribes with degrees of hair colour skin colour and eye colour. The fairest people would have the least contact with pigmentation due to sparse inter marrying therefore would have blond near white hair, near white skin and grey/blue eyes.

  21. Vitiligoat effects approxamately one percent of the population. On the other hand, Albinism occurs more frequently, approxamately 1 in every 2000 births sufferes from this disease. Albinism is a bicochemical disorder, whereas, Vitiligoat is an autoimmune disorder.

  22. So therefore two Caucasian people can produce an albino child?

  23. everyone could really do some more research dont stick with the general info. out there it is geared to hide the truth but the truth is coming out more and more eventually it will come out that the african race is superior over all races this for those who say the white race is superior on what facts do they have to prove this just because you take something and state now it is yours does not mean it is yours it still belongs to who or whatever you took it from there is grounds for stealing

  24. White people are a subset of Caucasian people, it simply means cranial facial features that are fine, one of the three most common types of people ( mongoloid, Caucasian, and negroid. You can paint a statue any color it doesn't change the foundation, an albino negroid is just that not a defective Caucasian.The same goes for an albino mongoloid. There are dark skinned Caucasians considered black but they are not negroid or mongoloid they are Caucasian because of their fine facial features, so if white people are albino black people they are still Caucasian not negroid, and for that matter black Caucasians might just as well be white Caucasians who migrated to sunnier locations and developed a real dark pigment tan over generations to ward off damage from sun exposure. Who really came first, the negroid, the Caucasian, or the mongoloid?


One comment per viewer, please--unless participating in a dialogue.