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Black parents have three white children

September 14th, 2009
 Albino siblings Esthefany Caroline (L), Ruth Caroline (2nd L), Kauan (C) pose with their mother Rosemere Fernandes and their brothers at their home in the V9 slum of Olinda, in the northeastern state of Pernambuco  Photo: REUTERS

Albino siblings Esthefany Caroline (L), Ruth Caroline (2nd L), Kauan (C) pose with their mother Rosemere Fernandes and their brothers at their home in the V9 slum of Olinda, in the northeastern state of Pernambuco Photo: REUTERS

Mother Rosemere Fernandes de Andrade, 27, and her partner Joao are both black and have two other children who are also both black.

The condition, which leaves the body short of melanin pigment, affects around one in 17,000 people.

Mrs Fernandes, who lives in a slum in north-east Brazil, says her children Esthefany Caroline, eight, Ruth Caroline, 10, and Kauan, five, have been teased about their skin by fellow school pupils.

Genetics professor Valdir Balbino, of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, said the condition was especially rare considering both parents and two other children are black.

Both parents must carry the albinism gene in order to produce a child with albinism. Even then, there is a one in four chance that a child will be born with the condition.

The family face increased costs children with albinism lack protection the body from the sun’s rays and often suffer from extreme short-sightedness and a severe sensitivity to light.

Mrs Fernandes needs to buy expensive sunblock and extra clothes to protect them and has also been challenged by security guards who insisted she could not be the children’s mother.

She said: “I’m afraid of skin cancer because I can’t afford the protection they need.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk


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