In what doctors are describing as a one-in-a-million case, a set of twin boys have been born with different skin colours. Bobby and Riley George, now three years old, were born 30 minutes apart and both with fair skin – but that quickly changed.
As the boys grew older, their parents began to notice that their features were developing in different ways.
When he was six weeks old, Bobby’s dark eyes turned blue and his complexion lightened while by three months old, Riley’s skin had darkened considerably and his hair grew brown.
The boys are non-identical twins and therefore born from two separate eggs at the same time, yet doctors said that there’s a one-in-a-million chance that the twins would not share the same skin tone – because the two eggs were fertilised at the same time.
Mum Abigail Tongue, 22, is white while the boys’ dad, Richard George, 26, is mixed race. “When she was pregnant, we’d joke how one could be black like me and the other white like Abbie but we never that it would happen,” says Richard.
The couple, from West London also has a 17-month-old daughter, Amelia, whose skin colour is a combination of both her parents. But despite the obvious differences in the boys today, they looked so similar at birth that their mum struggled to tell them apart.
“They looked so similar that when we took them home I was always getting them mixed up,” says Abigail. “I couldn't believe we had two different coloured babies. It seemed like a miracle and although it was unusual, we were so chuffed with our boys.
“Having twins is odd enough but two totally different twins is crazy.”
Abigail’s had to deal with a number of intrusive questions about the boys’ parentage. Strangers have asked her is she’s babysitting Riley and whether Richard’s the dad of all three of her children.
“It's so uncomfortable and awkward because they are insinuating I've had an affair,” says Abigail. “It can be quite upsetting, people not believing your child is yours.”
She worries that Bobby and Riley’s different looks will lead to them being bullied at school.
“Kids can be very cruel. I don't want them to be constantly asked questions about their parents or to be victims of cruel jokes,” says Abigail. “We'll sit them down when they're older and explain they're very special.”
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