Samuel Forrest couldn’t wait for the birth of his baby. His wife was in labor in Armenia and the pair were set to welcome an adorable infant into their lives. Everything changed, however, the instant a pediatrician came out of the hospital room carrying their baby. She indicated that something was wrong with the newborn, a son. Another doctor at the hospital said that Forrest wasn’t allowed to see the baby (named Leo) or the mother.
The baby’s entire face was concealed. Forrest was baffled and soon discovered that the baby had Down syndrome, a hereditary chromosome 21 condition. The baby’s mother Ruzan Badalyan decided she didn’t want to raise a baby who had Down syndrome. Forrest, however, was committed to Leo and rearing him in a loving and nurturing environment. This severe difference in opinion prompted Badalyan to initiate a divorce from Forrest about a week after the birth.
Badalyan refused to raise a baby with Down syndrome. She didn’t want to be with Forrest in a marriage if he wanted to keep young Leo, either. This could potentially be a cultural difference. Armenia is Badalyan’s homeland. In Armenia, special needs children are often thought be indignities for families. Since Forrest hails from New Zealand, their attitudes towards special needs individuals likely aren’t the same.
Although Badalyan told Forrest that she would leave him if he opted to keep Leo, the proud father decided that he wanted his baby more than anything. Forrest now is in the midst of preparing to relocate back to his native New Zealand. He wants to raise little Leo with the assistance of his relatives. He’s now trying to save money for the big move by using the crowdfunding site GoFundMe.com.