Man Forced to Choose Between Newborn Son with Down Syndrome and Wife

samuel-forrest-1024(Time) Man Says He Was Forced to Choose Between Newborn Son with Down Syndrome and Wife

 Feb. 6, 2015

The baby was born in Armenia, where estimated 98% of all Down syndrome newborns are abandoned annually

When Samuel Forrest’s son Leo was born Jan. 21, doctors informed him that Leo had Down Syndrome, which made no difference to Forrest.“I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful – he’s perfect and I’m absolutely keeping him,” Forrest told ABC News.

But for Forrest, a native New Zealander living in Armenia, there was one thing he hadn’t counted on. Leo’s mother, Ruzan Badalyan, issued him an ultimatum there in the hospital room, he says: It was her or Leo.

As Forrest explains on his GoFundMe page, “scores of babies are abandoned [in Armenia] each year, for reasons ranging from physical or intellectual disabilities and minor ‘imperfections’ … health professionals estimate that 98 percent of all Down syndrome babies born in Armenia are abandoned, every year.”

Forrest said, “[Badalyan] told me if I kept [Leo] then we would get a divorce.” (Badalyan confirmed to ABC News that she had given birth to a child with Down syndrome and did leave the father and child, filing for divorce about a week after Leo was born. She declined further comment.)

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