A cleft is not a curse. Parents may reject their infant by trying to hide her or even abandoning her to others’ care believing their child is cursed. Strong traditional beliefs and lack of education lead some parents to think the baby is being punished for their own misdeeds. Such beliefs may cause overwhelming stress, guilt, and shame, and thus impair the parents’ ability to react properly. Parents sometimes deny the seriousness of an open cleft. Other parents panic and reject their cleft infant completely.
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