LIFESTYLE
06/02/2015 10:30 GMT | Updated 06/02/2015 16:59 GMT

'He's Perfect': Samuel Forrest, Father Of Baby With Down's Syndrome, Refuses To Give Son Up For Adoption

Like most new fathers, Samuel Forrest was beyond excited meet his son, but he had no idea just how much that first encounter would change his life.

On 21 January, baby Leo was born with Down's Syndrome.

"They took me in to see him and 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 Forrest's wife did not share the same feelings. She reportedly gave Forrest an ultimatum, saying if the father wanted to keep the baby, she would divorce him.

samuel forrest baby

Forrest, who's originally from Auckland, New Zealand, said he was unaware that hospitals in Armenia "will tell you that you don’t have to keep" babies with Down's Syndrome.

He's now planning to raise Leo by himself as a single father back in his native country of New Zealand, where he can be near friends and family for support.

The new father, who works as a freelance business contractor, has created a GoFundMe page called "Bring Leo Home" in a bid to raise funds for the costly move.

"This really came out of the blue for me," he told ABC news. "I don’t have a lot, I have very little in fact. The goal is to raise enough for a year so I can get a part-time job so Leo doesn't have to be in daycare and I can help care for him."

samuel forrest baby 2

ABC News spoke to Leo's mother Ruzan Badalyan who said that she did have a child with Down's Syndrome and that she had left her husband. She declined to comment further.

The father's GoFundMe page has already raised over $175,000 (£114,000) in just nine days. The page now states that additional funds will be donated to charity.

"We’d also like to share the surplus funds with the only orphanage in Armenia that regularly takes abandoned Down's Syndrome babies as well as other organisations that can help these children," it says.

"Thanks to your support we can start to make a difference already."

SEE ALSO:

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