Father raises baby with Down syndrome abandoned by mother - KMOV.com

Father raises baby with Down syndrome abandoned by mother

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By Daniel Fredman By Daniel Fredman

ARMENIA (FOX Carolina) -- A father in Armenia is raising money to care for his son who he said was abandoned by his mother at birth.

Leo Forrest was born Jan. 21 with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder associated with developmental delays. According to Leo's father, Sam Forrest, baby Leo was abandoned by his mother and her family due to the disorder.

Now, Forrest is raising funds to give Leo the care he needs, and to provide for him as a single father.

Forrest said he was no longer welcome in the Leo's mother's family home because he "wanted to keep Leo."

"The mother refused to even look at or touch the newborn for fear of getting attached in a society where defects are not accepted," according to the GoFundMe page set up for baby Leo.

Forrest said he wants to return to his native home of New Zealand with Leo, where he can have "a quality of life and acceptance" that he says is not possible yet in Armenia.

The fundraising goal "to be able to care for Leo full-time for at least a year," was originally $60,000. But now the pair have raised more than $356,000 through donations.

Forrest said he would like to share the surplus funds with an orphanage in Armenia that cares for other babies abandoned due to Down syndrome.

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