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Caring for child with cleft lip and palate

An Old Bethpage family will be the featured speakers Monday at North Shore-LIJ’s Hagedorn Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center in Great Neck.

Paul Clarke and his wife, Ann, adopted their son, Eddie, 3, from China in June 2009. Eddie has cleft lip and palate, and the Hagedorn Center has asked the Clarkes to speak at a news conference about the ramifications of parenting children with cleft lips  and  palates. They will also discuss the physical, psycho-social and financial considerations a family has to go through.

According to Paul Clarke, cleft lip and palate are the malformation of the upper lip and the roof of the mouth. It occurs when fetuses don’t develop enough tissue to complete the formation of the roof of the mouth or the skin of the upper lip.

Following the news conference, the center will host a party for 22 families who have adopted children with cleft palates so they can get to know each other and trade stories.

Check back for a video with the Clarke family talking about what it’s like to be the adoptive parents.

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