Living (and Thriving) With Cleft Lip and Palate

Living (and Thriving) With Cleft Lip and Palate

Source: Parent Map

When we first considered special-needs adoption, I had to research cleft lip and palate to find out what it was. Now I see the telltale lip scar all the time. One in every 1,000 babies is born with some degree of cleft — a gap where parts were supposed to fuse together when the baby was forming in the womb. A cleft can occur in the lip, the palate or both, and it can be on one or both sides of the face. Nobody really understands why cleft happens. Genetics and vitamin deficiencies are possible contributors, but not causes. Cleft is usually diagnosed during a prenatal ultrasound. “It was horrible and scary, because I’d never seen it before,” says Burien, Wash., mom Nolby Manzanares of how she felt when her daughter, Genesis, was diagnosed with cleft lip and palate. “They sent us to [Seattle] Children’s Hospital, and they answered all my questions and made me feel a little bit better.”

About Seattle Children’s

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s has been delivering superior patient care while advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.