When Samuel Forrest heard his baby cry from the delivery room in an Armenian hospital, he knew life was never going to be the same. What he didn’t count on was what was about to happen. Samuel told ABC News, the doctor came out with the baby, and she told him the baby now named, Leo had Down Syndrome. After the shock wore off he was able to hold the baby, and realized,”this little guy is great!” Down Syndrome is an unfair, prejudiced label, stuck on a human being that is just different!
Apparently in Armenia it is a common practice for children with Down Syndrome to be abandoned. Professionals estimate that 98% of all Down Syndrome babies born in Armenia are abandoned, or sent off to orphanages. They are shunned, and forgotten in these institutions, where they cannot thrive, and live like the rest of society. Samuel is from Auckland New Zealand, and was taken by surprise at the way things are done there. When he went to speak with his wife, the baby’s mother, Ruzan Badalyanhe, Samuel says he was given the ultimatum then, that they were going to give up the baby, or she would divorce him. One week later Ruzan filed for divorce, and Samuel has custody of the baby. Samuel has been working with disability awareness groups to help educate parents, and people about special needs kids. Samuel could use help as he is trying to raise his son on his own, and states he doesn’t have a lot, and is now trying to return to New Zealand where they will have support from loved ones. If anyone would like to learn more they can go to his gofundme page by clicking here.