A first-time father was forced by his wife to choose between her and their newborn baby, who was diagnosed with the Down syndrome, because her family would be too ashamed to raise such child as their own.
The man, who hasn’t even thought about getting rid of the baby, chose his son over his wife. But the baby’s mother filed the divorce a week after her baby was born.
Ruzan Badalyan gave birth to Leo, the Down syndrome baby, on January 21 in a hospital in Eastern Europe. Samuel Forrest, the newborn’s father, struggled to find the necessary money to return back to his home land, New Zealand and raise his child. He would rather lose his home, job and his wife of 18 months than reject his son.
Mr. Forrest told reporters that his wife and her family wouldn’t even touch the baby because in the Armenian mindset such babies bring shame to the entire community. Leo’s mother asked her husband to choose between her and the newborn just a few hours after delivery.
Mr. Forrest also said that soon after his son was born he wasn’t allowed by doctors to see his wife or his son.
This paediatrician walks out of the room with a little bundle… She had his face covered up and hospital authorities wouldn’t let me see him or my wife. When the doctor came out, he said “there’s a real problem with your son,”‘
he stated in a recent interview.
Leo’s father also told reporters that he was shocked with the diagnosis, but never had it crossed his mind to give it to adoption. In Armenia, when a Down syndrome child is born doctors usually ask parents whether they want to keep him.
They took me in to see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful, he’s perfect and I’m absolutely keeping him,” he said.
Mr. Forrest also said that his wife and her relatives decided to abandon Leo behind his back. Meanwhile the single parent struggled to crowd fund his return to New Zealand. He named the fund raising page “Bring Leo Home,” and was surprised to learn that he managed to raise more than $100,000 in less than a day and the money kept flowing in.
Leo’s father said that his son must be a lucky guy to have the support of so many friends around the world.
Mr. Forrest will use the money to buy a house in Auckland, New Zealand, to provide Leo with proper education and to support Armenian parents and organizations that take care of abandoned Down syndrome babies.
Image Source: Boredom Bash