Smile Train – Providing Correction of Cleft Malformations

Smile Train pic
Smile Train


As an attorney at The Law Office of Bryce D. Neier PLLC in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Bryce Neier focuses on family law , international law, entertainment law, and other state and federal civil litigation. Bryce Neier supports Smile Train, a charity that performs surgeries for children with cleft palates.

A cleft is an oral malformation that occurs during fetal development. It happens when there isn’t enough tissue in the lip or mouth area, resulting in the tissue not joining together. Clefts can be successfully treated with reconstructive surgery. Because of technology and evolving surgical procedures making things simpler than in the past, the surgery now typically takes just 45 minutes.

An international children’s charity, Smile Train provides completely free cleft care to children. Since its inception Smile Train has expanded to serve over 85 developing countries to provide this procedure. More than 170,000 children are born with a cleft malformation every year. Approximately 1 in 700 Caucasian births, nearly 1 in 500 Asian births, and 1 in 1200 African births results in a cleft defect. Since 1999, Smile Train has performed over one million surgeries.


Hague Convention Provides Guidance for International Adoptions

Attorney Bryce Neier has a unique knowledge of domestic and international family law. Through his practice, Bryce Neier has gained strong and keen understanding of international family law practices, including in particular international child custody and child abduction as part of the Hague Convention. In addition international adoption has become a huge part of international children issues. The Convention’s key aim is ensuring that inter-country adoptions are in the best interest of adopted children and protect against child abduction and trafficking.

Under the Hague Convention, all subscribing countries must establish a central authority to oversee international adoptions. In the United States, the Department of State serves as that authority. For Convention member countries, an international adoption may occur if the child’s home country has deemed the child adoptable, and if adoption authorities have pursued an in-country adoption. Currently, the Hague Convention has approximately 90 member countries.

As stated in the Hague Convention preamble, all children should have the opportunity to “grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love, and understanding.” As a result of specific international adoption guidance, many children can find home environments in other countries if a suitable home is not available in their native country.

The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction

Attorney Bryce Neier of Fayetteville, North Carolina, focuses on family law, including property division, divorce, and child custody, particularly cases involving servicemen and -women at nearby Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. Bryce Neier is also experienced in cases of international child abduction.

Many such cases fall under the jurisdiction of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, which went into force in 1980 and is honored by some 50 countries, including the United States. Abductions have risen in frequency because of increases in the divorce rate, international travel, and bicultural marriages.

This treaty presumes that the proper place for children to live is in their nation of “habitual residence.” Taking children from these locations presents many problems for them and for the parents who are left behind. The convention works to permit a timely return of children to nations where their interests are best served. Even if the children were born in America, their nation of habitual residence could be another country.

Limitations of the convention include a maximum period of one year for filing a lawsuit. Returns are prohibited when doing so would expose a child to a harmful situation or when a child is mature enough to object to the return. In addition, if the return would violate a country’s laws regarding human rights, it might not proceed.

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Receives Exceptional Review

Bryce Neier is an attorney who serves the Fayetteville, North Carolina area. He concentrates in civil defense, international family law, and more. Bryce Neier supports several charities, including St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH).

SJCRH works towards cures and prevention of catastrophic pediatric illnesses. Founded in 1962 by Danny Thomas, the SJCRH treats all children regardless of religion, race, or finances. In 2008, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) named the hospital a comprehensive cancer center, a title that was recently renewed. The distinction is given to research-based centers that work actively to educate both professionals and the public alike on cancer, as well as conduct outreach.

Following its 2014 review, the hospital received NCI’s highest score of ‘exceptional.’ Dr. William E. Evans, the hospital’s director and CEO, indicated that the rating, which followed a rigorous process of peer-review, was meaningful and gratifying. SJCHR supports the work of over 160 scientists and clinicians. In the past five years, the hospital enrolled over 32,500 patients into clinical studies.