Bentley Boyers, a two-year-old who was born with a cleft lip, has adopted a puppy with the same condition.
When Bentley’s father went to the Jackson County Animal Shelter in search of chickens for their growing collection of farm animals, he noticed a dog, Lacey, who had a cleft lip like his son.
Bentley’s father called his wife, Ashley Boyers, to show her the pup and she instantly knew that they had to adopt her, telling her husband “you need to get her, we need her.”
Mrs Boyers said that when Bentley met his new pup, “He pointed it out, he said ‘puppy’s got a booboo’ and I said ‘puppy has a booboo just like you used to’. He said ‘puppy has booboo like me?’ and I said ‘yes’.”
“So I think he’s starting to understand that him and the puppy have something in common because when he sees pictures of himself with a cleft lip he says ‘that’s Bentley with booboo’.
“I think it’s going to mean a lot to him.”
The shelter, located in Jackson County Michigan, shared a snap of Bentley and his new puppy on their Facebook page stating: “It’s so hard to put into words how meaningful this adoption is to all of us so we are going to let the pictures speak for themselves…. We wish many years of joy as this special pair grow up together!”
Bentley was born with a cleft lip and has already undergone two surgeries to correct it, with one more due when he’s older.
According to his mother, “As of right now he’s practically fine, he’s the happiest kid ever. He’s the most open, loving kid ever.”
Currently in England and Wales, abortion is allowed up to birth for babies with cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot.
According to DoHSC statistics, 75 babies with either a cleft lip or cleft palate as their principal condition were aborted between 2011 and 2018.
Sadly, the figures for cleft lip and palate are likely to be much higher, for example a 2013 review by Eurocat showed 157 babies were aborted with cleft lip and palate in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. However, the DoHSC has only recorded 14 such abortions.
Right now, a group of MPs led by Fiona Bruce have put forward the Abortion (Cleft lip, cleft palate, and club foot) Bill, which would clarify that these conditions are not grounds for abortion in the UK.
An early day motion supporting the Bill has also been launched by Carla Lockhart MP and she is encouraging MPs to sign the motion to show their support for the Bill.
Both the Bill and early day motion have the support of a cross-party group of MPs from the UK Parliament’s three largest parties.