Dwarfism is a medical or genetic condition that results in an adult height of 4'10" or shorter. Most occurrences of dwarfism result from a random genetic mutation in either the sperm or the egg rather than either parent's complete genetic makeup.
Most children with dwarfism, or skeletal dysplasia, are born to parents of normal height. There are over 200 forms of dwarfism. The most common form, Achondroplasia, accounts for 70% of all cases.
Many children with some form of dwarfism are adopted by families in the USA each year. Parents with this condition, or who are currently parenting a child with skeletal dysplasia, are strongly encouraged to consider the adoption of a child with this medical condition. Of course, all qualified families are encouraged to learn more about adopting a child with dwarfism!
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Achondroplasia results in arms and legs that are disproportionate to head and trunk size. In disproportionate dwarfism, children are greater risk for additional health problems including:
Treatment should be symptom-focused based on complications noted above. With some adaptations being made for their height difference, children and adults with dwarfism lead normal lives, even having children of their own.