Biracial Twins Born With Different Skin Tones Turned Five And Are Adorable Today
Jul 21, 2021 by apost team
Most parents would likely be excited to hear that they are set to have twins. Naturally, there is some added stress and uncertainly about the future, but also the doubling of joy and happiness in the family. Fraternal twins are conceived when a mother releases two eggs during the same cycle. Two different sperm fertilize these eggs. Identical twins are conceived from one egg and one sperm. So, identical twins share 100% of their DNA, but fraternal twins only share 50%.
Fraternal twins are essentially siblings, as they will have completely different genes from each other. Sometimes, fraternal siblings can look almost identical, as is the case with famous twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Most people do not know that the sisters are actually not identical! However, some fraternal twins are born looking completely different, and in some cases, with different skin colors!
Twins with different skin tones are incredibly rare, but it does happen. As more interracial couples are not having children, it is giving a fascinating look into why some twins are born with different skin tones. In 2017, Whitney Meyer and Tomas Dean announced the birth of their twin girls. Jarani and Kalani Dean are fraternal twins that were born with drastically different skin tones and became an internet sensation when they made their public debut.
One sister was born with a significantly lighter skin tone and light eyes, while the other was born with a duskier tone and dark eyes. Now, the girls are 5 years old and look truly adorable. They continue to have different skin colors, but that means nothing for the sisters who are as close as can be.
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Whitney Meyer is a caucasian while the father of the twins, Tomas Dean, is African American. Kalani inherited her mother’s lighter complexion and blue eyes, while fraternal twin sister Jarani got her father’s darker complexion.
According to an interview that Jarani and Kalani's gave in 2017 to PEOPLE, her daughters began to look less like twins with each day that passes. The girls also had different personalities, “Kalani is wild and very energetic, while Jarani just likes to be cuddled!” Meyer said, adding, “Kalani crawls everywhere and gets into everything, but Jarani won’t let you put her down!”
Jarani was born with Mongolian spots, which are blue-ish marks that appear on darker-skinned babies, while Kalan did not have them. “When Kalani came out I thought she (had albinism) because she was all white. I asked my doctors, but they said, ‘Nope!’ And I kept thinking she would get color but she didn’t,” Meyer told PEOPLE. “It’s unusual.”
“They are different colors, but sisters by blood,” Meyer said. “But we love them the same.” When it comes to the twins' complexions, Meyer said "in this family, we don’t see color. Love is love."
Michael and Amanda Biggs, a biracial couple from Birmingham, England also had twins with different skin colors. Their daughters Marcia and Millie Biggs are now almost 15-years-old in 2021, and their unique appearances often cause strangers to question if they're actually twins.
The girls have their own interests and personalities, but they are still as close as any other set of twins.
“Marcia is a bit of a tomboy. She loves her gymnastics and prefers the color blue," mom Amanda said. "But Millie is the princess – she loves pink and all things bling. She's a bit like her mother in that way."
When a mixed-race couple is expecting fraternal twins, there is a 1-in-500 chance that the twins will have different skin colors. In fraternal twins, what they inherit from each parent is dependent on numerous variables including "where the parents’ ancestors are from and complex pigment genetics," says Alicia Martin, a statistical geneticist, and postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
It is certainly rare that fraternal twins are born with different skin colors, but it may just be that we are seeing more cases now than earlier due to more mixed-marriages. Speaking to People Magazine, Dr. Nancy L. Segal, psychology professor and director of the Twin Studies Center at California State University said, "We don’t know how often it happens because not all cases come to our attention. I imagine it’s going to happen more frequently now that we have more mixed marriages."
She also explained what could cause twins to have such different genetics. "It could be one child inherits certain genes from both parents and the other child inherits sets of genes from the other parent. And that explains the different skin tones,” she said. “It’s just like how ordinary fraternal twins can look completely different from each other. They just inherit different sets of genes-one child gets the lighter ones, the other’s darker."
Genetics is certainly a complex subject matter and there is still a lot that we need to learn. However, for parents, the only thing that matters is loving their children, no matter whose genes they inherit. Kalani and Jarani are incredibly adorable girls, and are close as any sisters can be!
Aren't genes amazing? Have any of your relatives surprised your family with a unique genetic trait? Tell us about your stories, and be sure to pass this onto others who may enjoy reading about this.