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

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.