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This is going to sound very naive

(56 Posts)
CinnamonPreztel Fri 24-Aug-12 12:38:27

But when do you consider someone mixed race? My ds's father is black, I am white. However ds' dad is 1/4 african, therefore my ds is 1/8. I am 1/4 Czech but wouldn't consider myself mixed race?

Although ds's dad is only 1/4 African, he is definitely black! My ds looks tanned, but has my caucasian hair, I suppose he appears Spanish.

I apologise for how ignorant this sounds! But would I term my ds as "mixed race"? I have done, because he has a black father and white mother. But because he is just tanned- I would still describe him as white.

MoRaw Fri 24-Aug-12 15:53:55

With regards to nationality, this comes into effect if the child was not born in the country. For instance, as far as I know, for a non-UK born child to claim UK citizenship, the father must be British. The law may have changed but that is how it used to be, if I remember correctly. So there is some truth to it but it may be a thing of the past.

Cinnamon, I had a look at the photo. In my humble opinion he does not appear anglo-saxon white. 'He looks like he has some mixture in him' especially from the first photo. Going on the second photo, which is a lot clearer, it is not obvious it is a 'black' mix. At the end of the day, you can only tell him the truth - he is of mixed heritage.

I read somewhere that around the fingernail beds are slightly darker than the rest of their hand, then they may still get darker? Don't know how true this is. Is this the case for your son? Otherwise, if he has settled on his final complexion then I really do understand your dilemma (more so for your husband who might find people wondering whether he is the father). I get stares on a daily basis and feel downright uncomfortable but I am coming to terms with it slowly. I never thought having a mixed race child was so, shall we say, interesting.

nickelcognito Fri 24-Aug-12 16:05:25

Cinnamon - if i didn't know, i would have said your boy looks European. (and yes, he is very handsome!)

but, yes, you should probably call him mixed race on medical forms because of the thing about some genetic disorders being more prevalent in some races.
it usually gives you options as to what mix they are.

although, having said that, you don't have to answer those questions.

and the nurse was wrong to assume.

nickelcognito Fri 24-Aug-12 16:08:38

MoRaw - it's either parent, not just father.

there's a load of information here
and specifically on children here

CinnamonPreztel Fri 24-Aug-12 16:13:20

Lol Moraw I agree it is interesting! I was pregnant at 18 with ds and whilst struggling to reach a decision on the pregnancy a friends mum said " Well, you have to consider the baby will not be white". I think what she meant by that was, assuming I settle with a white man, the baby could look out of place. I remember at the time I was utterly gobsmacked, as if she was hinting that should influence my decision somehow.

I'm confused about the fingernail beds, if they look dark they may get darker?

MoRaw Fri 24-Aug-12 17:23:38

@nickelcognito things may have changed as we are in an age of equality but I believe it used to be like that. It is still the case in some countries.

Yeah Cinnamon, I have read some threads here that says if at the base of their fingernails is darker than the rest of their fingers, then the child is likely to get darker as they grow. Someone else may be able to explain it better than me but that's what I have read. Also something about if their ears are darker.

AmberLeaf Fri 24-Aug-12 18:04:07

Yes I have seen mixed race babies (new born) that appear white but the skin below the fingernails was brown. Have also seen black babies with the same and both darkened as they grew. Also the ears yes.

One of my children was fairly light at birth but had very dark ears. He is now much much darker. Think there is truth in it IME.

CinnamonPreztel Fri 24-Aug-12 20:22:24

Wow, well my son's elbows, knees and back of his neck go pretty much completely brown. Nail beds slightly darker, we will see!

Corygal Fri 24-Aug-12 20:28:06

I'm desperate to lurk here as I never know what to put for ME - I'm sheet white and blonde but a quarter Indian. (Mum came out very pale but uncle is not white.)

Quip Fri 24-Aug-12 20:31:09

You can always opt for "other" when you have to fill in what your race is. I always do this for my kids and myself.

NewlyMintedPeasant Fri 24-Aug-12 20:37:08

I have this issue, I'm as white as white can be plus eastern european which people (especially thanks to panorama now) seem to see as the land of the whites. I'd had more than one midwife offer to correct the 'mixed box' or question it, it's always a faff to explain. I've even had to point out that ds (who is white blond/ blue eyes) has an epicanthic fold, otherwise known as 'asain eyes', as do many in my family. Cue looooong explaination that the Soviet Union had a HUGE range of ethnic groups and a lot of moving around.

It is important though to have 'mixed' on medical forms, it's been relevant to my medical history.

discrete Fri 24-Aug-12 20:41:50

I consider my children to be mixed race and both dh and I are white.

However, between us we can claim 7 different ethnicities and 5 different passports among our parents and grandparents, so I think we are well and truly mixed.

Skin colour is irrelevant.

My sister has two dc, one is much, much paler than the other, but they are both mixed race.

I also know someone who describes himself as black although his skin is the same colour as mine. Apparently it is the hair that makes someone black or not in his country of origin (caribbean).

MoRaw Fri 24-Aug-12 21:33:42

Cinnamon, I showed my husband the pic of our son and he thinks he looks Western European - Italian, Spanish, etc.

LOL! What fun your son is going to have when trying to tick the boxes.

TwllBach Fri 24-Aug-12 21:44:23

I've often wondered what I will say my children are. My father is half Bangladeshi but I have quite pale skin. I've been told I could be Italian, Latino, eastern European or welsh (!) although my brother was picked on for looking Turkish.

My nieces definitely look 'mixed' but you can't really put your finger on anything definite - they just have a 'non Anglo Saxon' look IYSWIM. Rather like your DS, who is just beautiful by the way grin

I will keep watching this thread with interest, thanks OP!

PurplePidjin Fri 24-Aug-12 21:52:15

Fascinating thread, thank you. We're expecting our first in December and he'll be an interesting mix. I'm a mash up of various parts of England and Irekand, DP is Jamaican and therefore lots of influences - he has green eyes, his dad's were blue, for example, despite all other characteristics being "typical" Black Carribean.

I can't wait to find out, could be absolutely anything from freckly ginger onwards!

Stupid question... Will our baby have blue eyes? I've heard all babies do, but i live in a predominantly white area so am sceptical of this All they speak of...

marriednotdead Fri 24-Aug-12 22:12:02

It's an absolute minefield isn't it!

I am mixed race (white English/Bangaladeshi/Mauritian). I look vaguely Asian but with frizzy curly hair. DD's father is black Carribean but she looks as Asian as I do.

DS's father is white English although some of his features make us wonder if there is a distant non-white ancestor. DS looks white most of the time although I've always written mixed race on forms. His peers he questioned it all when he started secondary school and he logically decided that he had to be mixed race based on my appearance. When we came back from holiday he was darker than me and the doubters were silenced. We've been to Turkey a few times and the locals are always convinced he is one of their own grin

suburbophobe Fri 24-Aug-12 22:18:38

Great thread! Interesting mixes.

My DS has an African father - I am Euri - but is very light-skinned and got more of my hair.
When on the beach for a day I am red and he is dark brown LOL

The weirdest thing I was ever asked by a stranger was if he was adopted.... and she was a brunette with a blonde child. It would never occur to me to ask a stranger such a personal question....

Your son is lovely OP, and you are right to let him know he is mixed-race. You wouldn't want to negate that part of him.

MoRaw Fri 24-Aug-12 22:24:55

Yes, apparently white babies are born with blue eyes. I think also mixed race babies too. My son was born with blue eyes. His eyes are now hazelish/greenish with blue outer rims.

HiHowAreYou Fri 24-Aug-12 22:46:56

I have one black grandparent, but I look white, as do both my parents really, Dad just looks tanned or Italian / Turkish / Spanish, so I've always just put white British on forms, and that's what I think of myself as.
Funny, I've honestly never wondered before if I ought to consider myself mixed race...
I'm pretty sure I'm just plain old white British!

Frontpaw Fri 24-Aug-12 23:02:58

Babies do tend to have a weird watery/greyish colour but eyes can change anyway - not just white babies. Mine changed from dark chocolate to bright green at some point along the way - not really sure when!). DSs eyes were the weird watery coffee brown colour and he is mixed.

CinnamonPreztel Sat 25-Aug-12 15:16:17

Lol yes a Spanish parent at DS' nursery asked if ds was spanish! I too think he looks Italian/ Spanish. It is strange to see him next to his father, who has an afro and looks more than 1/4 African. I wonder how ds will view himself, we live in a small city which is 99% white british, ds' dad was the only black pupil in the school where we met.

Ds was born with blue eyes but they are now a very dark brown like his dad's, I call them his "minstrel eyes" lol they are beautiful.

thixotropic Sat 25-Aug-12 15:25:50

Nothing helpful to add, but yr ds is cute as a button.

Frontpaw Sat 25-Aug-12 17:56:24

'He's (DS) Italian, I can tell, I'm italian'
'Errr, nope'
'Well your DH is italian, I've seen him'
Narrowing of eyes and contemplates next question before I offer:
'But people often think that...'

Frontpaw Sat 25-Aug-12 17:57:54

DS used to have 'espresso' eyes. No - not just because they were dark, but they also kept me wide awake (the child who never slept)

discrete Sat 25-Aug-12 20:13:40

Not all children are born with blue eyes. Mine were both born with dark brown, practically black, eyes.

CinnamonPreztel Sat 25-Aug-12 20:59:41

Thanks thixotropoic, my ds knows it too haha! And love the espresso eyes reference, rather suitable for ds too!

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