Martha Osborne, the founder of Rainbow Kids and an all around great advocate for children with special needs, called me in the fall to

Are you the right family to adopt a child with cleft lip/palate? Learn more before you decide. Information is power.

Are you the right family to adopt a child with cleft lip/palate? Learn more before you decide. Information is power.

suggest we work together to help families who are considering adopting kids with special needs. I jumped immediately, and was honored that Creating a Family was included.

As the national adoption education organization, what we can bring to the table is education. Our mantra is “information is power”. We don’t try to talk people into adoption over infertility, or into a particular type of adoption. We do try to give you information so you can decide what is best for you.

When deciding whether to adopt a child with special needs, parents need unbiased accurate information. Working with Rainbow Kids and Love Without Boundaries we will be producing educational resources specific to the top special needs. Yesterday’s Creating a Family show was on one of the most common special need in adoption–cleft lip/cleft palate. The panel was phenomenal–4 experts that all kids with cleft lip/palate will utilize: a pediatric craniofacial plastic surgeon, a maxillofacial prosthodontists (a specially trained dentist working with cleft issues), a speech therapist, and a feeding specialist. I am very proud of this show and hope it will be used widely by agencies and nonprofits advocating for special needs adoptions.

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Resources to Help You Decide Whether to Adopt a Child with Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate

  • Families that live near a center the specializes in the holistic treatment of children with cleft lip/palate are fortunate indeed. But as the experts on yesterday’s show pointed out, these centers exist in almost every state. To find one, go to the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) website where they are listed.
  • Rainbow Kids has a terrific special need section with a thorough discussion of over 45 special needs, including cleft lip/cleft palate.
  • An informative article in the current Rainbow Kids newsletter on cleft lip/palate.
  • Love Without Boundaries has a Cleft Surgery Fund to help pay for surgeries for children in orphanages. Consider making a donation to this great cause.

If you have adopted a child with cleft lip/cleft palate, what has been your experience?

Image credit: Trinity Care Foundation

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