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.”

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Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

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