A LATINO mother says she questioned the paternity of her own daughter after she was born with blonde hair and ivory skin – but it turned out to be albinism.
Edith Garcia, 33, from California and of Mexican-American descent, gave birth to infant Tatiana in June 2014.
Latina mum Edith Garcia says she and husband Raul were astounded by their albino daughter’s appearance when she was born[/caption]
Neither of baby Tatiana’s parents knew they had inherited the albinism gene from family[/caption]
Edith says Tatiana is now learning to live with her condition[/caption]
She and husband Raul had no idea they were both carriers of the albinism gene, and at first were astounded by their daughter’s appearance.
“When Tatiana was born, all I could see was this very fair skinned baby girl with really blonde hair – I didn’t know what to think,” said Edith.
“For a split second, I looked over to my husband and wondered what he did but clearly, it doesn’t work that way.
“So naturally, I questioned my own decisions.
“Personally, I find it funny because I know neither of us would have done such [a] thing but when you look at a blonde baby that comes out of a brown Mexican American mother, you wonder, even if it’s yourself.”
Albinism is a condition characterised by the absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes.
It also results in poor vision and depth perception as well as involuntary eye movements and sensitivity to light.
Edith said Tatiana’s appearance momentarily made her doubt her daughter’s paternity[/caption]
Albinism is caused by a recessive gene, and results in a lack of pigmentation in the eyes, hair, and skin[/caption]
It also makes sufferers more sensitive to light[/caption]
The condition is caused by the inheritance of recessive genes, meaning parents can often carry the gene without being affected by it.
“After [Tatiana] was born, my mother asked my grandfather if he knew of any relatives and he confirmed that there were, but they were at least five generations back, ” said Edith.
“My husband’s side was similar, distant cousins but not close enough to have known the possibilities.”
Edith says Tatiana isn’t too fazed by people in public noticing her appearance.
“Tatiana knows that she is special,” she said.
“She is used to the attention that she gets from strangers and doesn’t seem to mind it.
“She knows it’s mostly because of her white hair as that is what usually people say.
“I think it’s important too for her to feel confident and know that she is special in her own way but still the same.
Edith says she doesn’t think her daughters peers yet understand her condition[/caption]
“I don’t think her peers fully understand what it means to have albinism as they are only three years old, but I make sure that they learn about it with a home-made book about albinism and Tatiana.”
Tatiana was born just one day before National Albinism Awareness Day, which falls on June 13.
Edith says that reading about other people’s experience with albinism helped her understand her daughters condition, and that she now wants to raise awareness amongst others.
“I quickly learned that albinism was not very common amongst us and not a lot of people including myself knew anything about it.
“I have read and seen some very heart-breaking things towards people with albinism and that’s when it clicked.
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“I will do everything in my power to raise awareness for Tatiana and every person that follows her.
“We are in this albinism community and together we will raise awareness.”
Edith wants her family’s experience to help educate people about the condition[/caption]
Tatiana pictured with mum Edith, dad Raul, and five-year-old sister Mariah[/caption]
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