The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids.
Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition.
Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: “People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies.
“An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ‘Did you have the babies with a white woman?’
“I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.”
The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied.
Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: “We probably won’t put them in the system with regular children.
“We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street.
“We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.”
Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016.
Nolan’s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.
Christin said: “I knew that I was going to have twins but I never expected them to have yellow or red hair.”
Sufferers of albinism, which affects only one in 18,000 Americans and is even rarer in twins, have reduced melanin in their skin, hair and eyes.
Nolan and Savannah both suffer with rapid eye movement and are sensitive to sunlight.
Christin slathers them with sunblock every time they leave the house as well as ensuring they wear sunglasses whenever they go outside.
She said: “They have a hard time focussing with their eyes.
“They have very rapid eye movement. We had to go to the hospital every six weeks to have tests done on their eyesight.
“Every bit of hair on my son’s body is blonde and Savannah is ginger. She’s a different type of albino. She has red hair, red eyebrows and red eyelashes.
“I have to protect their skin with sunblock every time we leave our apartment. They have to wear sun shades a lot because their eyes are very sensitive to the light.”
The twins also have brittle, difficult-to-manage hair which Christin compared to Teflon.
She said: “Their hair soaks up all the moisture. I have to wash their hair everyday, it’s only manageable when it is moist.
“I braid it, but it’s really hard to comb. It is like Teflon, it is so thick.”
While the twins attract attention wherever they go thanks to their unusual appearance, Nolan and Savannah are completely unaware of their condition.
Christin said: “They don’t know that they are different at all. They like to sing and dance. They are loved. They are always smiling.
“They are just regular little babies. At the moment, my husband and I are catching the flack.
“We don’t walk down the street without someone stopping us, pointing at us and asking questions.”
Sometimes the attention can be extremely unpleasant.
Christin recalled: “My husband took Nolan on the train one day and a passenger said to him: ‘You got a black baby with white hair and blue eyes’. He called Nolan’s hair ‘n***** hair’.
“Everyone in the carriage started laughing. It took my husband so much strength to not react. When he told me what happened, he started crying.
“How could someone speak about a child that way? That’s when I knew we were going to have difficulties.”
But the couple are determined to embrace their children’s unusual appearance and teach them to love themselves.
Russell said: “In the beginning, I felt afraid for them and I worried that they would be bullied. But even though they are just two years old, I have developed a tough skin already.
“People look at them and they can’t believe they are black kids with white skin. But I shrug my shoulders.
“I think they are beautiful and I wouldn’t change them in anyway. I want them to embrace their differences, not shy away from them.”