A UK family are the world’s only with two sets of twins where one is black and one is white.
Twins Hayleigh and Lauren Durrant, 18, have different skin colours, as do their younger twin sisters Miya and Leah, 10. Two sets of twins with the same varied colouring make the Durrants a one-in-a-million family.
Many people don’t believe that the girls could possibly have the same parents. The 18-year-olds say they never get bored of people’s stunned reaction when they say they are twins.
In their interview with The Sun, Hayleigh, who has dark skin and hair like her dad Dean, said: “Some people can be really rude. They’ll say, ‘You’re lying, you aren’t twins – prove it!”
“No one could believe it. People look at us like it’s some kind of miracle. I’m still amazed that we are twins.”
Lauren, who has her mother Alison Spooner’s green eyes and fair hair, said: “People just assume we’re best friends rather than sisters, let alone twins”.
The pair amazed doctors when they were born in early 2001 looking so different. The odds were just one in 500,000. What is remarkable is this has happened in two sets of twins in exactly the same way. They remain the world’s only two sets of twins in one family with different skin tones.
Non-identical siblings are the result of separate fertilised eggs. This means that the babies are no more alike than any other brothers or sisters, and may be both male, both female, or one of each. All of these non-identical siblings share around 50% DNA, as in the case of siblings from different births.
A mixture of several genes is believed to determine human skin tone. It is always possible for a mixed-race couple to have a white or black child depending on their dominant and recessive genes. Twins can be born with different skin colours when the separate fertilised eggs each have a different genetic inheritance from their parents.
Zygosity twin testing
Zygosity twin testing can help determine whether twins are identical or not.
Zygosity twin testing involves analysing tiny amounts of DNA from inside each sibling’s mouth. Specific markers present in repeat sections of DNA are examined. These 35 Short Tandem Repeat (STR) loci include the Amelogenin (gender) locus. The DNA seen at each of these STR loci is compared between the tested individuals; identical twins will share the same DNA profile whereas non-identical siblings will have different DNA profiles.
The Twin DNA test costs just £119 for next day results and includes a Zygosity Certificate.
An increasing and novel use of a DNA zygosity profile is as a unique gift idea for multiple birth parents and/or their children.