VIDEO: The Little Couple adopted a child with dwarfism from China

The Little Couple Adopts

The stars of TLC’s The Little Couple have a big task ahead of them: Raising a child!

Dr. Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein announced they adopted a three-year-old boy from China who, similar to them, has a form of dwarfism.*

“We are thrilled to announce that we have adopted a beautiful young boy from China,” the couple said in a statement to People. “We are so proud to welcome William to our family and look forward to bringing him home.”

The road to parenthood has been long and challenging for the couple. After exploring the risks of pregnancy for 3′ 2″ Arnold, they decided it would be best to look into other options.

“After 6 months of doctor visits and much soul-searching, we both decided that it would not be in the best interest of our baby or myself to try to carry a baby due to the health risks of my short stature and skeletal dysplasia,” Arnold wrote in a 2011 blog post for TLC.

Arnold, who was 35 at the time, said they were first pursuing surrogacy as an alternative because of her age. Unfortunately, even surrogacy was complicated by the fact that Arnold and Klein both carry single genes for skeletal dysplasia. Specifically, Arnold wrote that a baby with double-dominant dwarfism would likely die shortly after birth. Thanks to wonderful science, however, the doctors would be able to determine if an embryo carries the lethal double-dominant dwarfism condition before it would be implanted in the surrogate.

“The goal of the testing is to prevent our surrogate, her family, and us from going through a nine-month pregnancy with a baby that cannot survive,” wrote Arnold, who also works as a neonatologist.

Knowing that there was only a 25 percent chance of double-dominant dwarfism and that there was an alternative to carrying the baby to term, Arnold and Klein decided to give it a go. Tragically, even though an implanted embryo appeared to be healthy, the surrogate mother suffered a miscarriage.

As the difficult experience played out on the most recent season of The Little Couple, Arnold and Klein discussed adopting a child with special needs.

“My entire life, even before I met Bill, I always thought, ‘Oh, I’d love to adopt a child who is another little person,’ ” Arnold said in an episode that aired last March. “And Bill and I talked about it after we got married, and I think we both realized we both would like that.”

Now, five years after they married, it sounds like Arnold and Klein are finally getting their wish. And, who better to raise a child with dwarfism that two empowered, confident little people? Congratulations to the family!

Watch Arnold and Klein’s emotional and exciting journey on the upcoming season of The Little Couple, which premieres April 30 on TLC.

UPDATE April 2013: Here’s a clip of the couple talking about the process and seeing a photo of their baby for the first time:

*Corrected from an original typo. We all make mistakes.

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  • pat

    i think you mean dwarfism…drawfism isnt a thing.

  • Kari

    I cringed every time I read “drawfism”

  • jeff

    Good on them! That is one lucky kid. I’m glad they made the right decision instead of knowingly bringing a child with a high chance of having a disability, into the world.

  • Nathan

    Awww. Look, they put a little sweater on him.

    • OttawaAsh

      Don’t hate because there 2 are more successful than you are in life.

  • Kim

    Drawfism? Really? Lol its not even like it was a typo since it’s spelled like that every time. Come on now

  • anjealka

    This is one TLC show I love & am so happy for the Jen & Bill. What a lucky kid to get to grow up with wonderful parents & in such a new cool house that will allow independence.

  • Bryce

    The screening process for hiring new writers has, so far, yielded less than favorable results.

    • Emily Glover

      Yikes! The typo was totally my fault…

      That being said, come on and practice a little tolerance. There are plenty of publications with more resources that still let grammatical errors slip every once and a while.

  • Booger

    Yay! I am soo Happy for them! They will be wonderful parents, i just know it!

  • Lenny


  • Clarissa J Rutherford

    If anyone deserves to be great and loving parents, it’s DEFINITELY them! I loved watching them a few years ago and it really makes me happy.

  • Teddy Salad

    She needs to dump her retarded hubby.

  • Teddy Salad

    I have a great-uncle who is a midget. How similar is that to a “little person”? Which one is smaller?

    • OttawaAsh

      Your ignorance is so laughable that I wonder if it’s fake and intentional.

      • Teddy Salad

        Huh? Sorry, I guess I don’t speak canadian cuz that made no sense.

  • Stimpy

    I’m so happy for them! I only watched the first season, but I really admired them. :)

  • midget kicker

    I wanna kick that big headed son of bitch across the field!

  • Eden

    I’m always a bit amused by people who use unnecessarily extravagant language..I’m not quite sure why…out of habit, or maybe to appear impressive? I don’t think it works…I think the person in question just ends up looking a bit arrogant. There are plenty of situations where elaborate English is appreciated – say, while writing a Supreme Court Judgment! It’s less impressive in an internet comment. It’s very apparent when people are using words they are not particularly comfortable or familiar with. The comment above is a very obvious example. The sentence: “The expectation of tolerance is reasonable…” makes absolutely no sense. Anyone with half a brain can see that. I understand what this person is trying to say, but “expectation of tolerance” – come on, now. You don’t even make it clear who you are applying this level of expected tolerance FROM. It might make sense if it had been phrased: “An expectation of tolerance is reasonable when…”, but it still wouldn’t be ideally phrased. You are basically trying to express your opinion on what is acceptable as reasonable behavior in…I’m not sure – how society generally reacts to spelling mistakes? Or in newspaper articles in particular? Or in the comment field below articles? I think I understand which one you mean – but you are not clear. One theme that was prevalent through legal writing classes in law school was one nicknamed: “don’t say precipitation if you mean rain”. Basically – don’t dress your words up unnecessarily. It’s a disguise of the less intelligent. Clarity is the MOST important quality of writing, and should never be sacrificed. It becomes a joke among well educated people, because those who have a strong command of the English language can immediately identify when words are being used incorrectly. Usually that’s because the subtleties of the word have not really been understood, so the word has been used out of context. Other times, it’s entertaining because when you break down the “elaborate” words – the message behind them tends to be almost amusingly simple. I return again to the sentence above: “The expectation of tolerance is reasonable when a word is spelled incorrectly once”. What a ridiculous sentence. The author does not make it clear:
    – who is this expectation of tolerance being expected from?
    – who is holding this expectation? The writer? People in general? Readers? The Editor?
    – using the world reasonable completely undermines the entire phrase. It’s too broad. It implies a tolerance without NECESSARILY an agreement. It is not made clear how far outside the range would be unreasonable, and whether the author’s own opinion falls in or outside this range.

    The entire sentence, broken down as simply as I can manage, is: “You can overlook one spelling mistake”, or “It’s understandable to tolerate a single mistake”, or “one spelling error is understandable/forgivable”. That is a very simple idea to communicate. All of the other words just confuse and detract from the meaning. If you really want to phrase it in a more elaborate fashion, try fewer words. “Tolerance is reasonable when a word is spelled incorrectly…”, would have been clearer. “The expectation of tolerance…” is just using English in a way that does not work. The word “tolerance” in itself IMPLIES an expectation, because tolerance is a reaction by people to a behavior or situation, etc. So saying “The expectation of tolerance” uses more words than necessary. I also think the use of the word “reasonable” does not make sense. The two parts of the sentence seem to contradict each other. It seems at first as if you are trying to say that ONE spelling mistake is not a big deal – but then by adding “reasonable” – it becomes unclear whether this is what YOU think, or whether you are sympathetic to this line of thinking, even though you DON’T particularly agree with it. It sort of just becomes a bland statement that has no real meaning. Almost like saying “It’s understandable when people tolerate receiving an incorrect food order, if it is subsequently corrected.” The sentence becomes SO general, it has no meaning anymore. Of course it’s understandable. That is how anyone with half a brain would feel. You are basically saying that a basic human reaction is acceptable. Aside from the fact that you do not have any real authority on what is and is not reasonable (which is why it’s an opinion and not a statement), the fact that you are simply saying that something is reasonable, renders the sentence sort of meaningless.

    Anyway, it’s a lesson everyone learns as they become more mature – but with words, quality rather than quantity is key, and clarity is essential. English is a beautiful language – and we have a word for almost everything. Luckily, that means that you generally need to use fewer of them. Never let your meaning (which is MUCH more important) get lost in a desire to use “impressive” words.