The white mom and black dad who had an albino baby say they have already suffered racial abuse
A white mom and a black dad who had an albino baby say they have already suffered racial abuse – at the age of just 15 months.
Marwa Houma, 33, said she expected Julia-Marie to share skin tones with her and her black civilian partner, Malcolm John, 60.
But instead she was born with blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin.
Tests revealed that Julia-Marie was born with albinism, a condition that affects one in 17,000 people.
Marwa said her bubbly baby daughter has suffered fierce discrimination, particularly when dating her loving father.
She has been nicknames and people have even wondered if John is her father.
Marwa said, “Whenever I take Julia out, people don’t look at me because I’m fair skinned, but when they look at me at Malcolm with Julia, it’s like ‘what’s that man doing with that baby?’
“People stared at him as if he had kidnapped the baby, and I felt for him, but he couldn’t express it.
“As a parent, I need to be brave and cool for my daughter’s future. Our fear is that Julia will be bullied because of her glasses and her condition.
“People need to know that it is not necessary to be black to be racially abused.
“You can be white, have blonde hair and blue eyes, and still be mistreated for the color of your skin.”
Full-time mom Marwa, from Croydon, South London, said she was thrilled when she got pregnant with her first child in 2020.
But when Julia-Marie was born in June last year, she was stunned by her extremely pale skin tone and piercing blue eyes, which didn’t match her parents’ features.
She said: “She was born completely white, pale, with blond hair and blue eyes.
” I was expecting to have a mixed race baby because his father is of Black Caribbean descent.
” He had just thought ‘this is our baby’. She maybe she denied it, but she held her in her arms and loved her from day one. “
Marwa said doctors and nurses at the hospital where Julia-Marie was born failed to pinpoint the rare condition and it later slipped into postnatal depression.
And Julia-Marie’s albinism was spotted by her family doctor just two months later, who then issued strong warnings about the dangers she could face to her health in the future.< /p>
Marwa found that her daughter had “OCA1,” which means she could get skin cancer if she is exposed to direct sun and needs to wear glasses.
Marwa explained: “The doctor told me Julia needs to be completely protected from the sun, otherwise she will get skin cancer and she would need glasses because her vision will never be 100% and there is no cure for it. albinism.
“She too cannot open her eyes to the outside due to the bright light, she has photophobia [a fear of the light]. This is where my battle began. “
Albinism affects the production of melanin, which determines the color of someone’s hair, eyes, and skin and makes people with the condition particularly susceptible to sunlight.
And Marwa said she spent most of this year’s unusually hot summer indoors with Julia-Marie – “paranoid” that the strong rays could harm her daughter.
But on the occasions when she went out as a family, Marwa soon noticed how Malcolm and Julia-Marie became targets of discrimination due to their differences.
She said: “We had an accident in the hospital once. She was six months old and she was crying, so I said,” I’ll take her in the car and I’ll feed her and you can get the prescription. ”
“But the lady at the pharmacy wouldn’t take Malcolm seriously. She said, “Call his mother so I can confirm his date of birth.” She wouldn’t believe this is her father.
“He was furious and had to come up to the parking lot and say, ‘Could you come upstairs and confirm Julia’s date of birth?’
Marwa said her daughter was also branded a “white monkey” in a vile racist outburst, leading her to report a hate crime to the police and fear future reprisals.
He added: “I stopped taking Julia out completely. Enough with intimidation! “
But despite the hardships Julia-Marie faced in her early years, she has since had a successful career as a children’s model, attracting fans from around the world.
Marwa now wants more people to be aware of the medical truths surrounding albinism – to crack down on the abuse that many people face with the condition every day.
He said: “Often enough these topics get swept under the rug and people don’t talk about them often. This is a lack of knowledge.
“I knew very little about it, which is why I struggled during the postnatal period.
” As parents, we want to raise awareness of everything we have learned since Julia was born.
“People need to understand what albinism is and the origin of the disorder. It is not contagious and it is not a disability.
“In 2022, sad to say, there is still discrimination and not only whites can be racists.
” There is racism in every single race. We have to defend our Julia. “