Adopting a Child with a Cleft Lip and Palate

Danielz Joplin

There currently 3 boys born with cleft lip/palate waiting to find famileis through one of our popular programs in Asia.  My own brother was born with this need and in my personal experience, this need has not impacted my family or my brothers life in a negative way.  Purusing the web for information to share I came across this great letter on www.cleftline.org.  It really resounds that what can seem a major need in another country can be very manageable here in the USA.  I encourage you to email us about the option of adopting a child with a cleft lip or palate and to take a look at our waiting kids Joplin, Kipplin and Danielz!

My name is Greg Subtelny, and I was born in 1949 with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. I had corrective surgery as an infant, then again at ages two, nine, and fifteen. I feel that I was very fortunate to be born to parents who were knowledgeable about my condition. I am writing to reassure any parent of a child with a cleft that the cleft need not be a real impediment, either physically or psychologically. I had a successful academic career and am now a dentist in private practice. In high school I played saxophone as part of my treatment. I was active in sports, and I captained teams in both high school and college. I have ongoing friendships reaching as far back as first grade, as well as from college and dental school. I have also made new friendships through parenting my two sons. Having a cleft was not, to the best of my memory, ever an issue with my friends. Even I was generally unaware of it except during the times preceding my two later surgeries. I do remember feeling awkward when I first started dating, though, and I know that some of that was related to my cleft. Otherwise, my biggest “problems” were my inability to blow up balloons or blow bubble gum bubbles and having milk come through my right nostril when eating cold cereal. These air and fluid leakage problems were corrected at my last surgery. I was never aware that a cleft could be considered a “disability” until my last year of dental school, when I was involved in the treatment of a patient with a cleft palate. I learned that a cleft could definitely be a disability if left untreated! With tremendous advances in modern surgical and allied treatment techniques, however, the problems of a cleft can be greatly minimized. I cannot say that I have been totally untouched by having been born with a cleft. However, I am sure that my parents’ attitude toward my condition, along with the care I received, contributed greatly to my life being full and productive. Sincerely, Greg Subtelny”

kipplin collage

For more information about these children please email nina.t@chiadopt.org.

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