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Dad Refuses to Give Up Newborn Son With Down Syndrome

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by TrackerSam, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. TrackerSam

    TrackerSam New Member

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    When Samuel Forrest of Armenia heard a baby crying from outside his wife's hospital room, he knew his life would change forever.
    Forrest followed doctors and nurses into a room where he'd finally get to meet his baby.

    "When I walked into the room they all turned to me and said 'Leo has Down syndrome," he told ABC News. "I had a few moments of shock."

    After the news had sunk in, Forrest held Leo for the very first time.

    "They took me in see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he's beautiful -- he's perfect and I'm absolutely keeping him."
    Soon Forrest walked into his wife's hospital room with Leo in his arms.

    Her reaction was unlike one he ever expected.

    "I got the ultimatum right then," he said. "She told me if I kept him then we would get a divorce."
    The baby's mother, Ruzan Badalyan, told ABC News that she did have a child with Down syndrome and she has left her husband, who has the child, but she declined to elaborate.
    Despite his wife's warnings, Forrest said he never had a doubt in his mind that he would hold onto his son.

    One week after his birth, Leo's mom filed for divorce.

    "It's not what I want," Forrest said. "I didn’t even have a chance to speak with her in privately about it."

    https://gma.yahoo.com/dad-refuses-newborn-son-down-syndrome-221817795--abc-news-parenting.html

    They're both better off without her IMO.
     
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  3. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    Just to clarify, this occurred in a hospital in Armenia, not New Zealand or the U.S.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...baby-s-condition-raise-own.html#ixzz3QzNksAuE
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  4. MsFacetious

    MsFacetious What a Kerfuffle...

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    The abortion rate would not be over 90% if more Dad were like this one. :twocents:
    I have seen Dad's choose the wife in this situation "well she was going to divorce me..."
    Well, don't let the door hit you on the way out lady!

    I was 18 when my daughter was born. Giving her up was never an option.
    She just turned 12 yesterday. :thud:
    I still wonder how I got so freaking lucky to have the chance to know her, much less RAISE her.

    Enjoy Leo Dad, they still grow up too fast even when they take their time! :loveyou:
     
  5. SwampMama

    SwampMama Insomniac Extraordinaire

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    I thought of you MsF when I read this story. I have loved seeing the pics of your girls growing up and how much you love them.

    A happy update to this story is that an online fundraiser to help get Leo home to NZ and raise him has gotten over 350,000 which is incredible. His father is so thankful and wants to help others in this situation and I hope that he is able to do many good things with the money.

    I wonder is the horrid mother will try to get her hands on the money? I hope Baby Leo and his dad have an awesome lawyer to make sure she never gets a penny of that money and has her rights to baby Leo completely terminated.
     
  6. Sonya610

    Sonya610 Former Member

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    One would think that since they were married he would have known her views on the subject.
     
  7. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    If she felt so strongly, I wonder why she didn't do prenatal testing for Down syndrome.
     
  8. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Over 90% of what? The U.S. would be a massive ghost town within two generations if the rate were 90% of pregnancies.

    So whatever do you mean?

    FWIW, I'm glad your daughter brings you so much joy. I am entirely in favor of parents who choose to raise their children (completely able or not) and I don't begrudge my tax money going to help them. I'm just curious about this 90% abortion rate. I don't know a woman under the age of 50 who has had an abortion (as far as I know--I'm thinking of family members and close friends who would have confided in me).
     
  9. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    Abortion is really up to the mother. Even if father doesn't want it, he legally can't do anything about it.
     
  10. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure she means abortion rate for fetuses with Down syndrome. One wonders why this woman didn't abort, if that's how she felt. Sounds like she didn't know, so apparently the test wasn't done.
     
  11. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Not until he can figure out how to carry the child himself. That being said, I hope a woman who's partner wants their child will consider giving up a few months of her life in order for him to raise the child they made together. (I'm assuming he and the child are able to survive after delivery.)

    I'm not limiting the mother's rights, just hoping she will consider the rights of the father as well.
     
  12. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Thanks, Jenny. Of course the test isn't 100% accurate. An amniocentesis is necessary to be sure, IIRC. My daughter tested positive for Down's Syndrom with all three of her children. She and her husband decided they would not abort any of the children even if they were born with DS, so there was no point in testing further.

    We--their parents--all promised to support whatever decision they made, of course, and promised to help if they had a a child with special needs. Thankfully, all three children were born normal, and above-normal in intelligence.
     
  13. ScarlettScarpetta

    ScarlettScarpetta When the going gets tough, drink coffee

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    Im sorry, I just don't see this as some great thing. Apparently his wife is a jerk but why should he be praised for raising his own child?? ?
     
  14. MsFacetious

    MsFacetious What a Kerfuffle...

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    <modsnip>

    There is a waiting list of people who want to adopt kids with Down syndrome... and not enough kids to adopt. :twocents:

    I have talked to parents where the Mom wanted to abort due to pressure from others and the Dad simply agreed with her.
    My point was that if more Dad's said "No, I want my baby" then there would be more Mom's who would agree.
    Dad's opinion does matter to many Mom's... but if they don't voice it then Mom doesn't know what his opinion is. :twocents:

    Mine never voiced an opinion, not that it would have mattered to me. He could leave if he wanted, I was keeping my baby. :twocents:
     
  15. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    As I said in my earlier post, we all have to remember that this happened in ARMENIA, not America. The culture is vastly different than western developed nations. It is an economically very poor county, and perpetually involved in war/ strife of various origins. It's the second most densely populated of the former soviet republics. Health spending per person by the government was $112 in 2006. GDP per capita is only around $3000. This is a very poor country by any measurement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenia#Health

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

    We have no idea what kind, if any, prenatal care or prenatal diagnosis was available to this woman, or whether or not abortion was even an option or considered (so why is it a topic here?). We have no idea what the societal resources and supports are for caring for a child with Down syndrome (I'm guessing little to nothing, as the orphanages are overflowing with disabled children there, and many healthy children are living in squalor). In short, it is colossally unfair for any of us, sitting in our rich, industrialized country, to pass judgment on what happens in very poor countries. Their options and decisions are NOT even close to the same as ours.

    I have no idea why this case even made the news, except the father is an ex-pat from NZ. These cases, of abandoned disabled infants, happen ALL OVER THE WORLD EVERY DAY in many countries. Yes, it's sad and very unfortunate-- but this case is no different than what happens in many poor countries. One of my daughters is adopted from china, and was in a special needs orphanage. A significant proportion of the kids in that orphanage were boys with Down syndrome. Disabled infants are abandoned all the time, in many countries. It's incredibly commonplace, and in some cultures, considered to be responsible and compassionate behavior to not burden your family by "selfishly keeping" a disabled infant. We might find that absolutely abhorrent, but it's reality in many poor areas of the world.

    And as for the statistics put out by "pro-life" organizations, those should be countered with actual science. The abortion rate for Down syndrome fetuses is not 90%. Those are manipulated fear-mongering statistics not grounded in valid science or the literature. I have no idea what it is in the area of Armenia and surrounding countries, but I'm guessing it isn't 90% there, either. (This conversation isn't really about the abortion rate of Down syndrome fetuses here in the U.S. or Armenia at all, but given the mother's abandonment of this child, it was inevitable that someone would bring it up.)

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pd.2910/full

     
  16. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    From googling, abortion is legal in Armenia and actually quite common. The case made the news because father is collecting money through go fund me page.
     
  17. Lulu14

    Lulu14 New Member

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    Yet hundreds of thousand of mothers are left to raise their children alone, disabled or not, when the fathers bail out. Why aren't they in the news as well?

    As someone who will try to conceive this year, I have given some thought to what I would do if there were something wrong with the baby. I would most definitely abort, or, if their issues are undetected until birth, put the baby up for adoption.

    I think I am capable of raising a child with physical problems, but I know I would be an awful mother to a kid with mental disabilities. It would eat at me every day, and probably make me end up in a very dark place.
     
  18. Lulu14

    Lulu14 New Member

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    Double post.
     
  19. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    And so, for whatever her reasons, this woman did not choose abortion, so it's really a non-issue here, IMO.

    The little boy is incredibly lucky that he has a bio-father who wants him, despite his serious disability, and has the means to provide for him. Thousands and thousands of other disabled kids in poor countries don't have that good fortune. I'm glad and pleased this father wants to care for his son.

    We all should understand that one reason this even made the news is that it is so incredibly RARE in these countries for a bio dad to step up in this way. It's an anomaly. If he had walked away, none of us would have ever heard about the situation with this infant, because it is commonplace. But it won't change a thing in these countries. The bio-dad now has a lot of money and a wealthy westernized country to "escape" to. Citizens of poor countries seldom have those kinds of options.

    And I doubt we will ever hear about it, but I'd be interested in hearing an "update" in a year, and 5 years, and 10 years, and 20 years, to see how it goes for the dad and this son. I'm hopeful the dad will continue to raise his son, but I'm also skeptical that it may work out over time. This dad really has no idea right now what kind of life is even possible for this child. He may be tremendously ill and impaired, or relatively high functioning. Either way, this child will never be able to live on his own, so it's a life time commitment for this now-single dad. I truly wish him well. He will need all the luck and friends and love and support he can get over the years to come, because he has a long and difficult journey with his son.
     
  20. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    Some reading about abandonment of disabled infants world wide:

    http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/...aced-wont-accept-him/articleshow/28024153.cms

    http://www.growingyourbaby.com/2014/02/03/abandoned-babies-of-china-from-girls-to-sick-and-disabled/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595152/

    http://allaboutdevelopmentaldisabil.../in-haiti-abandonment-of-disabled-babies.html

     
  21. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    You're right that the dad has no idea what the future will hold. But none of us do. This man obviously loves his son, and so he will do whatever he needs to. Yes, maybe there are a hundred reasons to be skeptical, and yes there are so many women left in similar situations. But that doesnt mean we shouldn't hope the best for this man and his son. I remember the day my son was born like it was yesterday. I was scared to death! But the first time I held him.... it is indescribable how it changed me. It hasnt been easy of course, but everyday (even the most challenging) has been a gift that I wouldn't trade for anything. I feel sorry for the mother, that has chosen to not share in this journey, the same as I feel sorry for men who abandon their children. They will never know the happiness they have missed.
     

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