Samuel Forrest says his wife Ruzan Badalyn gave him an ultimatum after she delivered their son Leo on Jan. 21: either he kept their child, or she would leave him. “I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful – he’s perfect and I’m absolutely keeping him,” Forrest said.
His wife then made good on her promise and filed for divorce. In the face of raising Leo alone, he set up a GoFundMe account to help him stay home with the baby for at least a year. The generous support of people who have heard his story have far exceeded the $60,000 he originally asked for.
Forrest is a New Zealand native who is currently living in Armenia, where there is an option for parents to abandon their children at birth. “What happens when a baby like this is born here, they will tell you that you don’t have to keep them,” he explained. “My wife had already decided, so all of this was done behind my back.” His wife has confirmed that she gave birth to a baby with Down syndrome, and that she has left her husband, but has did not give any further information, or confirm that she left Forrest because he chose to raise their child.