Can Two White People Have a Black Baby?

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Can Two White People Have a Black Baby

Conversations surrounding a white couple parenting a black baby are very complex, if not overwhelming. Many times, the situation tends head, looking to accuse the mother of cheating on her white husband with a black or mixed-race man.

How else could this be possible for a white couple to have a black baby?

But science has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that two white people can have a black baby.

Here’s why:

Circumstances that can lead Two White People to Have a Black Baby

White People Have a Black Baby

1. An IVF mixed up

In 2003(1), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) resulted in a white couple putting to birth black twins in Britain. It was scientifically proven through genetic testing that the white woman is the babies’ “biological mother” but her husband, also white, is not their “biological father.

A further test revealed a black man, who together with his wife had used IVF at the same facility was the biological father of the black twins.

Although this case has caused controversy surrounding the credibility of the IVF procedure, one aspect of the question has been answered as to how a white couple can have a black baby.

But mistakes by IVF clinics or hospitals could go unnoticed unless there is evidence of racial differentiation.

It’s noteworthy, that the case above was not the first nor the last. In the US in 1998, for example, a white woman gave birth to one white and one black baby in what became known as the “scrambled eggs” case.

After a “bitter custody battle” the black couple whose embryo was mistakenly implanted into the white woman won custody of the black baby.

Similarly, in the Netherlands in 1993, a white woman gave birth to one black and one white child after receiving “mixed sperm from a poorly sterilized pipette”. The biological father of that child did not try to claim his black biological child.

Comparably, it was publicized in October 2002 that another IVF mixup had ensued in Britain. The two women were given the wrong embryos in a mixup relating to three women. One woman was implanted with her own poorer quality embryos while her best quality pair went to another woman whose embryos were given in error to a third woman.

The situation could happen, and vice versa, for a black couple parenting a white child in a similar situation. However, the probability of two black people having a white child is higher, due to the circumstances surrounding slavery many years ago.   

2. Recessive Gene

Another situation, that could lead to two white people having a black baby is the recessive gene.

A recessive gene is a trait that is evident only when the genotype is homozygous; a trait that tends to be masked by other inherited traits, yet persists in a population among heterozygous genotypes(3). Thus one could be carrying a recessive gene from many generations before but made evidence through your children.

There is a true story of a black girl born to white parents in apartheid South Africa. As a baby, Sandra Laing appear white, but as she grew older, her hair grew kinky, dark and curled, just like black hair, while her skin looked black or mixed race.

There were questions, directed to her white parents, and mother, especially about her race of Sandra. But biological and genetic tests revealed Sandra is their biological daughter.

The test also explained, that one or both parents, who are white, maybe carry a recessive gene from a black ancestry. According to research published in the early Seventies, about 8 percent of the genes of any modern Afrikaner are non-white.

More recent studies put the number slightly higher, at 11 percent. Of the 25,000 or so genes that determine inheritable characteristics, only a tiny fraction have to do with skin color, hair texture and other visible markers of race. (2)

Nonetheless, the result of the test did not stop the apartheid society from racially abusing Sandra although she’s internally white.

These two circumstances explain how two white people can have a black baby.

3. The way forward

To reduce the drama surrounding IVF mix-ups, In vitro fertilization clinics are urged to review and tighten their procedures

Melbourne IVF experts have announced that they have developed a test to check the paternity of embryos to prevent mistakes or mixups like the one that has occurred in Britain. The genetic test will cost couples around A$2000 for it.

Top 5 Countries around the world to get IVF

White People Have a Black Baby 1

The top 5 IVF clinics around the world according to BritMed are:

1. Greece:

Greece has one of the lowest costs of IVF treatment abroad. With treatment as low as 3,000 – 3,500 EUR. However, this price can be increased to around 5,000 – 6,000 EUR if the eggs used in the treatment are from donors.

Additionally, the legislative framework governing IVF was established in Greece, in 2005. The country implements a friendly and simple system, has some of the best clinics and doctors, and allows women under the age of 50 and men, regardless of their age, to have access to IVF treatment.

Finally, Greece practically has no waiting list, reducing anxiety related to aging which is an important factor when taking into account the mental well-being of patients.

2. Czech Republic:

The Czech Republic has around 30 clinics scattered throughout the country and is well structured by the Czech Society for Assisted Reproduction.

Similar to Greece, the cost of IVF treatment is also relatively low and can range from 2,500 – to 4,000 EUR.

Moreover, other than English being spoken throughout the facilities is the stunning cities which can be visited, namely; Prague and Brno. It’s worth noting that women are able to receive IVF treatment up until the age of 48 in this country.

3. Spain:

One of the more popular countries that have been visited for IVF treatment in Spain. With modern facilities and specialized physicians, and many laws and regulations to ensure the safety and care of patients, it’s no wonder why.

Not to mention the multitude of destinations to be visited. One of the main reasons patients travel to Spain is for egg donation this is attributed to its higher success rates.

In comparison to the aforementioned countries, the cost of IVF treatment in Spain can be slightly more expensive, ranging from 3,500 – to 5,000 EUR.

4. Turkey:

Regarded as one of the cheaper countries for IVF treatment, Turkey offers some attractive reasons to travel to the country for the procedure.

The cost is as low as 1,700 EUR approximately. Also, the prominent existence of state-of-the-art clinics and highly qualified physicians make this country one of the most popular destinations among European and North American alternatives.

5. Denmark:

Being home to one of the largest sperm banks, Cryos International, Denmark has consequently eliminated the waiting times for IUI (artificial insemination) and been at the front of one of the greatest proportions of babies born through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

For context, the US has 1.7% of all infants born through ART, whereas Denmark has an estimated 8 to 10% conceived through ART.

For these reasons among others, Denmark has been one of the most popular destinations for women undergoing fertility treatments. The typical cost of IVF in Denmark starts at around 3,400 EUR, with egg donation prices ranging from 5,000-to 6,000 EUR.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What fertility clinic has the highest success rate in the UK?

Leeds Fertility has consistently been one of the most successful clinics in the UK, with a high live birth rate compared to other clinics. We are the highest-performing clinic in the North of England and ranked in the top five nationally (HFEA data issued Dec 2019).

What is the average cost of IVF in the UK?

Some clinics can be contacted directly without seeing your GP first, but others may ask for a referral from your GP. The cost of private treatment can vary, but 1 cycle of IVF can cost up to £5,000 or more. There may be additional costs for medicines, consultations and tests.

Which IVF clinic has the highest success rate in Europe?

IVF Spain ranked number 1 with a GCR Score of 4.5 and ranks number 1 among 1,854 fertility clinics monitored worldwide, followed by the Sanatorium HELIOS (4.5) and the Tambre Fertility Clinic (4.5). Dunya IVF achieved the same quality score of 4.5 and ranked No number 4 in the World.

What are the chances of getting pregnant on the first cycle of IVF?

Overall, for women starting IVF, 33% have a baby as a result of their first cycle, increasing to 54-77% by the eighth cycle. Our research, published today, reports the probability of IVF success from a patient’s perspective after repeated cycles, rather than how it is usually reported, for each cycle.

Do genes determine a person’s race?

Race is a real concept that we use as social beings. As for whether race can be found in our genes, the answer is no. Biological ancestry, however (which is distinct from the race), is real. Where our forebears came from can be seen in our DNA (to a certain degree), but ancestry does not map onto race, not even close

Can Dark parents have a fair baby?

Both parents may be dark but if there is a fair-skinned blood relative even distant or even existing 2 or more generations before, the baby can be fair. Rarely will there be genetic mutations causing changes in physical characteristics.

Which parent determines the skin color of a baby?

This means that the skin color a baby has depends on more than one gene. When a baby inherits skin color genes from both biological parents, a mixture of different genes will determine their skin color. Since a baby inherits half its genes from each biological parent, its physical appearance will be a mix of both.

Now it’s your turn!

As established, two white people can have a black baby. Other than adoption, the two rarest cases are through IVF mixups or recessive genes.

If you ever have a baby whose color is different from yours, it’s important to seek medical advice before drawing conclusions.

Similarly, if you’re planning to have your babies through IVF, be sure to consult the best medical or fertility clinics or hospitals. You might not be ready for the headache IVF mixup could cause you.


  • 3. Cookson, M. R. (2010). Recessive Gene- Mutations in recessive genes decrease protein function. Science Direct.
  • 1. Ethics, J. O. (2003). IVF mixup: the white couples have black babies. Journal Of Medical Ethics.

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Serwaa, a gifted storyteller with a knack for uncovering the extraordinary in the ordinary. Her words dance across pages, painting vibrant narratives on culture, human rights, and everything in between. While she's not weaving tales, you'll find her playing the cello or planning her next globetrotting adventure. You might say she's a bit of a 'renaissance woman' - but she'd just call it 'embracing her curiosity'!

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