Dad refuses to give up newborn son with Down syndrome
ARMENIA – Leo Forrest was born on Jan. 21 with Down Syndrome, in Armenia, according to a Go Fund Me page set up by his family.
The page explains that Leo’s mother and her family abandoned him at birth. But, his father, who is from New Zealand, was no longer welcome in the family home because he wanted to ‘keep’ Leo. According to the post, the mother refused to even look at or touch the newborn.The page continues: “With little work, no money, resources or family, and now no home, his father Sam wants to return to New Zealand with Leo, where Leo can have a quality of life and acceptance, integration into society that sadly, is not yet possible in Armenia.”
Leo’s father Sam is now trying to raise enough money to be able to care for Leo full-time himself for at least a year, to “give him the love, cuddles & devotion he needs to thrive.”
The Go Fund Me page has raised more than $220,000 in just ten days. This updated was posted on the page last night:
“Thanks everyone – we are stunned beyond words at the incredible support & love you’ve shown for little Leo. 9 days after we started our campaign, Leo and I found out in the wee hours of morning that we had crossed our target! He is a lucky guy to have the support of thousands of friends like you around the world. Some of the additional funds that we have raised will be used to secure better living conditions in Auckland, and to give Leo higher quality opportunities when it comes to education – a good home and school cost money, but Leo will have all that and more, thanks to you.
We will use some of the money you’ve given to fund facilities and programs here in Armenia that will support future parents to keep their kids despite all disabilities, and to help better care for the special ones who end up away from their Mom & Dad. We’d also like to share the surplus funds with the only orphanage in Armenia that regularly takes abandoned Down Syndrome babies as well as other organisations that can help these children – thanks to your support we can start to make a difference already
Thanks again for your care and generosity!”