Well, I do have some experience here….
Although I consider myself black, many would consider me biracial as on both sides of my family, my great-grandparents were one white and one black. My grandparents were considered “mulatto” as were my parents.
First off, people are going to perceive others as they choose to. What I mean is, if Lenny Kravitz and Barack Obama were not famous, people wouldn’t just roll up on them & say, “One of your parents is white, right?”
In my family we have people who others would think are white, people who others would think are black and people who fall somewhere in between. We often joke about how our ethnicity changes with our environment and surroundings. If you put us in a room with white people, people assume we are white; we get plenty of comments about being Hispanic, Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Polynesian, etc. However, many if not most black people can look at us and tell that we are of black descent.
One of my brothers is brown-skinned and most people would just see him as a black guy and not think he is of any other heritage; my older brother is more often than not mistaken for Hispanic/Latino. I have skin whiter than many of my white friends, green/blue eyes and reddish-brown wavy/curly hair with freckles to boot. None of us harbor any ill feelings toward another or have a preference for one group over another.
Perhaps our experience is a bit different because we know our heritage and our family is in tact and very close. Growing up, we thought all families were like ours and assumed everyone had relatives of all hues and persuasions. Maybe because we were brought up very “Cumbaya” we are different from others? I dunno… And for those who will ask, “Then why do you consider yourself black?”—the short answer is because I have witnessed and experienced racism and it was always from white people who felt the need to try to make me/us feel “less than” because we are proud of and happy with who and what we are.
I don’t mean to be harsh or rude, but for your mom to say “You can’t have one black baby and one bi-racial baby, they’ll hate each other! And then one would feel favored over the other!” it speaks to her preferences and predjudices. I know that many, many black people covet/prefer light skin, light eyes, “keen features,” and “good hair.” However, as my dad once explained to me when I was a child and said, “Why do we say we’re black? We don’t ‘look’ black or ‘sound black…'”—my dad said, “Because while people might not look at us and know we are black, racist bigots look at us and know we aren’t 100% white. And if they started hanging *n-words* tomorrow, we’d be swinging in a tree too.”
It shouldn’t be that serious and honestly, as long as the parent/parents love the children and treat them fairly and do not pass on feelings of inadequacy or preferential treatment, the kids will be alright.