A black couple told yesterday of their shock and mystification when their son was born with white skin and blond hair.
Francis Tshibangu admitted: ‘My first thought was “Wow, is he really mine?”.’ He and his wife Arlette already have a two-year-old boy, Seth, whose features reflect his African parentage. But it is thought that baby Daniel, now 11 weeks old, has a slight genetic mutation. He is not an albino.
Congo-born Mr Tshibangu, 28, said his ‘jaw dropped open’ when Daniel arrived at Leicester Royal Infirmary. ‘I was too stunned to speak and I could see the doctors looking at each other, thinking the baby couldn’t be mine. ‘Then Arlette and I looked at each other and smiled and I knew he was. I have been with my wife for three years and there was never a question of infidelity, but seeing his white skin was a surprise to say the least.’
Mr Tshibangu, a sociology student, added: ‘The initial reaction from the nurses must have been that Arlette had had an affair. Their faces were a picture, but then I’m sure mine was too. ‘When I bent down and kissed him I got a better look at his features and could see he looked just like me and Arlette. He has my nose and my wife’s lips. The couple believe Daniel could be a throwback to Arlette’s great-great-great-grandmother, who is also thought to have given birth to a white baby. But Mr Tshibangu said: ‘That was six generations ago and we don’t even know if that was true.’
He added: ‘You can see people looking at us thinking, “What are that black couple doing with that white baby?” I am sure there are a few people who think we have stolen him. ‘But to us, his skin colour isn’t important. The most important thing is that we have a healthy little boy who we love very much.’