A Father’s Heartbreaking Choice

In a heartbreaking turn of events, a father was forced to make an unimaginable choice between his wife and his newborn son with Down syndrome.

On January 21, Samuel Forrest’s wife, Ruzan Badalyan, gave birth to their first child, Leo, in an Armenian hospital. However, just hours after Leo’s birth, Samuel was given an ultimatum by his wife of 18 months – to choose between her or his son.

Leo’s mother and her family decided to abandon him due to his Down syndrome. In Armenian culture, having a child with a condition like Leo’s is considered shameful for the entire family. Samuel was not allowed to see his wife or son immediately after Leo’s birth. He was devastated when the doctor informed him about Leo’s condition. However, he never hesitated to accept and love his son.

Despite the challenges, Samuel made the courageous decision to keep Leo and be the best father he could be. When he brought Leo to meet his wife, she threatened to leave him if he chose to keep their son. Sadly, a week later, Samuel’s wife filed for divorce.

Now, Samuel is determined to create a better future for Leo. He has started a crowdfunding campaign titled “Bring Leo Home” to raise enough money to leave Armenia and return to his native New Zealand, where he can provide Leo with the love and care he deserves. The campaign has already received an overwhelming response, raising over $100,000 in less than 24 hours.

Samuel is incredibly grateful for the support he has received from around the world. He plans to use the funds to find a home in Auckland and provide Leo with educational opportunities. Additionally, he wants to help other parents in Armenia who are raising children with disabilities by supporting the only orphanage in the country that frequently takes in abandoned Down syndrome babies.

Samuel’s initial goal was to raise enough money for a year so he could devote his time to caring for Leo while also working part-time. He hopes to create a loving and nurturing environment where Leo can thrive.

Let’s come together and support Samuel in his journey to provide Leo with a brighter future. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children with Down syndrome and their families.