Just recently, 24-year-old Curtis Martin and 28-year-old Rebecca Horton had twin girls that turn out to be a genetic anomaly and a one-in-a-million chance. One of the girls was born black while the other was born white. The twins, Kendall and Baylee, inherited separate genes from mom and dad. Kendall got genes for black skin from her half-Jamaican dad, while Baylee got genes for white skin.
Father Curtis Martin and mother Rebecca Horton cradle twins Kendall and Baylee who were born with very different skin tones thanks to a rare quirk of genetics.
The twins’ mother, Rebecca Horton, said: When they were born, we kept staring at both of them — we couldn’t believe it. It was a lovely feeling and a big shock.
One thing I know for sure is that family and friends won’t ever struggle to tell them apart. Ms. Horton, 28, is white, while Mr. Curtis, 24, is half Jamaican. Their twins’ skin contrast is possible because the girls are non-identical, though it is still highly unlikely.
The babies’ strikingly different looks can be traced back to their parents. The father, Curtis Martin, is half-Jamaican and their mother is white. Being non-identical twins, the girls were created when two eggs were fertilized by two sperm and so inherited different genes from their parents. Typically, both would inherit a mix of black and white genes and so be born with a similar skin tone.
However, in odds of a million to one, Kendall has inherited genes that code for black skin, passed on from her father, and Baylee has received a set of genes for white skin. Mr. Curtis says that the couple do get looks when they are out in public with the girls, and admits that if he saw somebody with them, he would struggle to believe they were related.
The three-month-old sisters also have very different characters. Kendall, who weighed 6lb 1oz when she was born, is very laid-back and can sleep the day away. Baylee, in contrast, who was born at 6lb 5oz, is “loud and needy” and craves attention. And she is already attracting plenty of it, wherever she and her sister go.
The mother, a 28-year-old delivery driver, said: When people look in the pram and see that one is darker than the other, they will sometimes be a bit thrown and ask if they are twins. They are shocked when we say yes.
The couple, who also have a five-year-old son called Coby, knew from quite early on in the pregnancy that Rebecca was having twins. However, they weren’t prepared for how much work would be involved. But while they have completely forgotten what it is like to have a good night’s sleep, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
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