Samuel Forrest, a native New Zealander who lives in Armenia, has made international headlines for deciding to keep his son who was born with Down Syndrome despite his wife’s threat of divorce.
According to ABC News, Forrest was warned by a doctor that “there’s a real problem with your son” before he was permitted to see him. When he entered the hospital room, the new father was informed that his son Leo had Down Syndrome.
Forrest said that he had a moment of “shock” but never considered giving Leo to an orphanage.
"They took me in see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he's beautiful -- he's perfect and I'm absolutely keeping him,” Forrest said.
Forrest’s wife then gave him an ultimatum: If he kept the baby, she would divorce him. The couple never was never able to discuss the matter in private, he says.
"What happens when a baby like this is born here, they will tell you that you don’t have to keep them,” Forrest told ABC. “My wife had already decided, so all of this was done behind my back."
Forrest has now set up a Go Fund Me page to support his move with Leo back to New Zealand where he intends to care for his son full time for at least one year before he returns to work. The page has raised nearly $300,000 in 10 days.
And update to the page says that that the father and son have exceeded their goal to move and will share the extra money with programs in Armenia that will educate parents about special needs children, as well as an orphanage in the country that regularly takes abadoned Down Syndrome babies.
Publication date: February 6, 2015