twitter.com/KTLA  | twitter.com/ABC7Chicago
twitter.com/KTLA | twitter.com/ABC7Chicago

Dad Refuses to Give Up Newborn Son with Down Syndrome When His Wife Walks Out on Him

Dayna Remus
Feb 17, 2022
07:40 A.M.

In many societies, unconditional love is the bedrock of parenting. However, some have different views on differently-abled children, a controversial and painful reality to contend with.


Samuel Forrest from New Zealand and his Armenian wife, Ruzan Forrest, were looking forward to what was meant to be the happiest day of their lives.

But, when their adorable newborn Leo finally made his way into the world on January 21, 2015, in Yerevan, Armenia, their relationship immediately imploded -- the new mom giving her husband the ultimate ultimatum.

Leo [left]; Samuel Forrest holding his son Leo [right]. │Source: twitter.com/KTLA twitter.com/ABC7Chicago

Leo [left]; Samuel Forrest holding his son Leo [right]. │Source: twitter.com/KTLA twitter.com/ABC7Chicago


With hospital authorities prohibiting the father of the newborn to see his baby, he waited for doctors to convey the news, recollecting:

"When the doctor came out, he said, 'There’s a real problem with your son.'"


Ambivalent, the new dad made his way to the baby, where it was revealed that he had Down Syndrome. Although wildly taken aback, he instantly fell in love with little Leo when he gazed at him.


While he immediately knew that he would keep the adorable baby, Ruzan was wholly opposed to the idea.

She wanted to place the newborn in an orphanage, as the Armenian government allows for differently-abled babies.



She told her husband that their marriage would be over if he chose to keep Leo. Just like that, the new father made up his mind.

Samuel, living in Armenia, chose to leave for his home country with his son. Ruzan filed for divorce just days after their child was born.



However, the tables eventually turned, as Ruzan chose to tear up the divorce papers, finally moving to New Zealand to be with her family. The mom expressed:

"At first, I was very, very scared...I think I was also very selfish, and then there was depression...[it was] all of that together."

Her initial reaction to her son having Down Syndrome may be controversial or even downright cruel to many. However, her husband has put it down to cultural pressure, appearing to not hold it against her.



In 2016, Ruzan said that she now can't fathom her life without Leo, which has turned her into a different person. The father commented:

"She’s adapted to Leo’s therapy programs, and she’s turned out to be a wonderful mother."

What is your opinion on this mother's journey? Do you understand or sympathize with her actions, or do you find them completely unjustifiable?



While this mother eventually made her way back to her baby boy, some parents sadly disappear from their children's lives forever.

Evgeny Anisimov and his wife also had a child with Down Syndrome, with the mom, like Ruzan, leaving and filing for divorce. Except, in this case, she never returned.

As a single father raising a differently-abled child, Anisimov struggled. However, with some outside help and unconditional love, he has become an outstanding parent -- a trait he shares with fellow dad, Samuel.

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