Blue eyed baby, brown eyed parents

Is it possible for two brown-eyed parents to have a blue-eyed baby? I’m afraid I don’t remember my high-school biology. Is it possible if each of the parents has a parent with blue eyes?

If I rememeber MY biology, yes, it is possible. Both brown-eyed parents would have to have a recessive blue-eyed gene. I think it can be more complicated than that, though. There was a thread a while ago discussing the various possibilities.

We used to attribute this to the “Milkman” :slight_smile:
Not many of those anymore.
Peace, mangeorge

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …(Paraphrased)

The simple answer is yes. What is impossible is for two blue-eyed persons to have a brown-eyed child.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Well, it better be possible, else I got lots of 'splaning to do to the husband. We’re both brown-eyed and have a blue/green eyed child.

Blue eyes are recessive; in our case we each have a blue-eyed parent. If I remember my high school biology correctly, we had a 1 in 4 chance of having a blue-eyed child.

In fact, I know a couple, she’s full-blooded Korean, he’s German, and they have a blue-eyed daughter. I have even heard of two blue eyed people having a brown eyed child, but I read it in Ann Landers so I’m not sure if it’s really true or not.

The genetics answer is not the entire story, though. While the gene for blue eyes is “recessive” in the sense that both parents must supply a copy of the gene for it to be expressed in the offspring, there is another factor which can override.

Blue eyes are caused by the absence of the pigment melanin. The most common reason, by far for that is genetic control over the function of melanin production. Some people have no melanin in their eyes for entirely different reasons having to do with trauma, disease, or metabolic mischance. Those conditions are not all inheritable, and if that is the case with one parent, the two blue-eyed parents could have a brown-eyed offspring.


This bit of lager-lore came up in a discussion a few weeks ago, and I know I’ve heard it before. I’ll go nuts if I don’t ask.

Are all babies born with blue eyes? Some pairs of which then turn quickly to brown as the child matures?

It seems not-quite-logical, but I’m curious. I haven’t seen many babies, myself, but one sighting of a dark-eyed newborn would answer that question.

::Steeling himself for the backlash::

As a biologist, I’d have to disagree with the two blue eyed parents having a brown eyed child. That is theoretically impossible.

The deal is you have two copies of your chromosomes (half from mom, half from dad). Each has an ‘allele’, but only one is contributed in conception. A brown eye color allele is dominant over a blue, thus a brown eyed parent can be either Brown/ Brown or Brown/ Blue. If two Brown/ Blue parents get together, there is a 1 in 4 chance of a Blue/ Blue being the result, a 2 in 4 chance if Brown/ Blue (with brown eyes as previously explained) and a 1 in 4 chance of a Brown/ Brown offspring. That’s genetics in a nutshell.

I suppose in some freako biology state, it might be possible for one or both parents to have a quasi defective allele in a Brown/ Blue combination where Brown doesn’t ‘work’ so the parent has outwardly blue eyes. Yet they could pass along the brown allele, which again (in this hypothetical example) could suddenly correct itself and start working creating a brown eyed child from two blue eyed parents. But I’m guessing the odds on that are pretty damn slim.

It would have to be a pretty rare case where the DNA in the allele would screw itself up for one or several generations, during meiosis, then undo the effect down the road.

More than likely, you’ve got brown eyed parents wearing colored contact lenses…

As another biologist, I would like to assure the OP that two brown-eyed parents can, indeed, have blue-eyed children. In addition, I would like to confirm what another poster said-- two blue-eyed parents can have brown-eyed children. Contrary to what many (me included) were taught in Genetics 101, eye color is not a simple Mendelian trait. Instead, it’s governed my multiple alleles at several different gene loci. Thus, it’s possible for two parents to have gene complements that lead to blue eyes in them, but that can be mixed and matched in their children lead to brown eyes. You can find some literature relating to this by going to and doing a search for “eye color”


Notice the op did not say lovely bright blue eyes but a blue something eyes. Might still be lovely but they probably show a mix just by their unusual color.

All right, I take back my post from above. Or change the word “impossible” to “improbable.”

I have seen some babies who had brown eyes from birth. Generally they have been from Black, Asian or Hispanic parents. My son’s eyes were gray when he was born and are slowly turning brown (his dad’s eyes are light brown). My daughter’s eyes were dark blue at birth and are now a lighter blue.

Cecil’s take on multicolored eyes. Just a note that just because you’re born with an eye color doesn’t mean it will stay that way. There was also an old thread discussing this in the forum Comments on Column.

My eyes are colored blue in one and blue on top half and brown on the bottom half of the other.

<font color=blue>Baby blue eyes</font> - real babies have dark-ish, blue-ish, often dark-water colored eyes. Yes, some do seem brown from birth and some blue but mostly eye color becomes more distinct after a while.

The same thing occurs with skin color - needs time for developing - I can’t remember how long.

And my niece’s great big pale Irish freckles didn’t appear until she was three and got a little tan…

Oh, I’m gonna keep using these #%@&* codes 'til I get 'em right.

Real babies? As opposed to fake and non-real babies?

<font color=blue>Yep.</font>

Oh, I’m gonna keep using these #%@&* codes 'til I get 'em right.

My mom has brown eyes and both her parents have blue eyes. Unless Yarster’s faulty allele came into play, I think there’s a pretty good chance that my grandpappy weren’t my grandpappy.

And I thought my family was boring.

Will work for sig line.

I knew a couple:the mother was a brown-haired,brown-eyes Turkish woman,the father a black-haired,brown-eyes Arab. Their daughter was blonde with blue eyes. I think after puberty,her hair got to light brown.

Thanks, everyone. I had a vague idea it was possible, but couldn’t remember the details. In any event, it’s not my baby, so I don’t have to explain genetics to all the people who think the mom has some 'splainin to do!

This topic is actually causing a lot of gossip in my family.

All four of my grandparents have/had blue or green eyes. My father’s older sister is blond/blue eyed. My father has black hair and brown eyes.

My grandmother always said that her father was a Gypsy (watch out for me DavidB) to explain the strange coloring. But since Pop was born in Eastern Europe in 1944 while my grandfather was fighting the war, we’re thinking Granny will change her tune when she writes her memoirs.

Speaking of Gypsy’s, though, the false rumor that Gypsys steal children was perpetuated by Gypsy couples having blond hair/blue eyed children in their presence. The fact was that recessive genes sometimes came out generations later.

Also I have a friend who has one brown eye and one blue eye. She looks really cool.

Formerly unknown as “Melanie”