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Posted: February 06, 2015

Dad refuses to give up son with Down Syndrome, wife divorces him

By Samantha Jordan

News 96.5-Orlando

ARMENIA —

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A father who decided to keep his son that was born with Down Syndrome, despite his wife threatening to  leave him if he did, is receiving an outpouring of support online. 

Baby Leo was born on January 21 in an Armenian hospital. "When I walked into the room they all turned to me and said, 'Leo has Down Syndrome,'" Samuel Forrest said. "I had a few moments of shock." 

But after Forrest held baby Leo for the very first time, he fell in love. His wife was not overjoyed. When Forrest went to see her in the hospital room, he says she gave him an 'ultimatum.'

“She told me if I kept him, then we would get a divorce,” Forrest said. 

A week later, that's exactly what happened.

When asked about the situation, the mother, Ruzan Badalyan, says she had a baby with Down Syndrome that was with the father, who she had left. 

Without any help or support from his wife, Forrest turned to GoFundMe for help. His original goal was for $60,000. So far, over $180,000 has been raised.

Forrest says he plans to move back to Auckland, New Zealand where he'll find more support. 

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