• Question: when the mum of the baby is white and the dad is colured why does the child turn out colured most of the time

    Asked by Nancy Rose Carroll to Ravinder on 9 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Ravinder Kanda

      Ravinder Kanda answered on 9 Mar 2015:

      Skin colour is a result of how much of the pigment melanin your body produces. Individuals of European descent have less melanin than individuals of African ancestry, for example. How much melanin your body produces is a characteristic that you will have inherited from your parents. In the same way, children born to mixed race couples, will usually have an intermediate skin colour to their parents, as they will have inherited copies of genes from the lighter skinned parent that produce less melanin, and copies of genes from the darker skinned parent that produce more melanin.