Studies have reported an association between homozygosity for a variant form of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene and risk for neural tube defects. Because of MTHFR's involvement with folate metabolism and evidence that maternal use of a multivitamin with folic acid in early pregnancy reduces risk for cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CLP), we hypothesized that infants homozygous for the C677T genotype would be at increased risk for CLP because of lower MTHFR enzymatic activity. Data were derived from a large population-based, case-control study of fetuses and liveborn infants among a cohort of 1987 to 1989 California births. The analyses involved 310 infants with isolated CLP whose mothers completed a telephone interview and whose DNA was available from newborn screening blood specimens and involved 383 control infants without a congenital anomaly whose mothers completed a telephone interview and whose DNA was available. Cases and controls were genotyped TT if homozygous for the C677T allele, CT if heterozygous for the C677T allele, and CC if homozygous for the C677 (wild-type) allele. Odds ratios for CLP were 0.89 (0.55 to 1.4) and 0.78 (0.56 to 1.1) for infants with TT versus CC and infants with CT versus CC genotypes, respectively. Compared with the CC genotype, the odds ratios for CLP among infants with the TT genotype were 0.74 (0.39 to 1.4) for those infants whose mothers were users and 1.4 (0.54 to 3.6) for those infants whose mothers were not users of multivitamins containing folic acid periconceptionally. The two estimates were not statistically heterogeneous (P = 0.30). Our results did not indicate increased risks for CLP among infants homozygous for the C677T genotype, nor do they indicate an interaction between infant C677T genotype and maternal multivitamin use on the occurrence of CLP.