Father refuses to abandon son with Down Syndrome

A father is fighting for his son after he was born with Down Syndrome in Armenia.

Leo Forrest was born on January 21, 2015, according to a Go Fund Me account set up by his father, Samuel Forrest.

Samuel is from New Zealand and ended up marrying a woman from Armenia. After she gave birth to Leo, doctors told her he had Down Syndrome.

She reportedly refused to look at or touch the baby because of the stigma associated with Down Syndrome in Armenia. Samuel claims disabilities and minor imperfections are rejected by Armenians.

According to the Go Fund Me account, health professionals estimate 98 percent of babies born with Down Syndrome in Armenia are abandoned.

Those who don't wish to keep their Down Syndrome children allegedly leave them at deplorable orphanages where they ultimately are forgotten by Armenian society.

Samuel wanted to keep Leo and has no choice but to parent him alone.

He created the Go Fund Me account to get him and Leo back to New Zealand. He wants the baby to "have a quality of life and acceptance, integration into society that sadly, is not yet possible in Armenia."

His goal was to raise $60,000. As of Friday morning, $230,000 had been donated to Samuel's cause.

Samuel took to the account to say, "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."

He says he will give some of the money to support future Armenian parents who decided to keep their children despite their disabilities.   

Read more: http://www.gofundme.com/bringleohome
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