When China implemented a one child policy, it brought about some situations that we westerners didn’t think about. I haven’t researched the subject in depth, so I have no statistics to support my hypothesis, so this is my opinion only. Since a Chinese couple could only have one child, they obviously would want a normal healthy child. If they had a child with an imperfection, sometimes the child would be abandoned. This situation could come about with something that some of us may consider a very minor and solvable health issue, cleft pallet.
It has been my experience that children in China are abandoned for a cleft pallet, which we know is correctable. I like to tell myself that when a child with a condition like this is abandoned, it isn’t because the parents don’t love their child; rather it is because they know they can’t afford the medical attention to resolve their child’s problem. Therefore, the parents believe they are giving their child the best opportunity to receive the medical attention needed by abandoning the child. I can’t imagine how heart wrenching that decision must be for a young couple to make.
As you can see in the picture below, this child has cleft pallet. What I have learned since Global Partners in Life (GPiL) has started assisting special needs orphans with their medical requirements is that usually a cleft pallet requires three operations. The first surgery closes the lip, the second closes the gum, and the third closes the roof of the mouth.
As you can tell, this child also had some problems with their nose being blocked. The second picture is of the child soon after the first operation. The device in their nose was to help hold the nasal passage open while the healing took place.
Here is another child for whom we recently provided the funding for their cleft pallet surgery. As you can see, their situation was a little different from the child in the first picture.
The before and after pictures of the cleft pallet surgeries can reveal a dramatic change. We are very thankful for our donors who contribute to GPiL, so we can continue to have a positive impact on the health and lives of the special needs orphans in China!