Mother Defends Herself Against Claim That She Abandoned Son With Down Syndrome
A new mother accused by her husband of abandoning their child after learning the boy was born with Down syndrome went public this week to tell her side of the story.
Leo Forrest was born in Armenia on Jan. 21, to Ruzan Badalyan and Samuel Forrest.
Despite the diagnosis, Forrest considered his son to be “perfect,” he said in an interview with ABC News.
His wife, however, had “refused to even look at or touch the newborn,” according to a GoFundMe fundraising page set up to support Forrest and his son.
Badalyan was afraid “of getting attached in a society where defects are not accepted, often bringing shame on the family involved,” the GoFundMe page stated.
But speaking out for the first time, Badalyan claimed the decisions she made concerning her family’s future were the “hardest moments” of her life, according to a recent Facebook post obtained by ABC News.
“I remember the sad faces of my relatives and the doctors and the diagnosis that sounded like a verdict: ‘Your child was born with a Down syndrome.’ One can never imagine my feelings at that moment,” Badalyan wrote in the post.
“Hardly had I recovered from the first shock, when the doctor approached me and told me to voice my decision whether I was going to keep Leo or not. I had to make the most ruthless decision in my life within several hours,” her post stated.
Badalyan said Forrest gave her no emotional support during this time and that ultimately he was the one who decided to take the baby and leave her behind, ABC News reported.
“After that incident, he left the hospital notifying me hours later that he was taking the kid with him, that he is going to leave the country for New Zealand and I do not have anything to do with the situation,” her Facebook page stated.
Badalyan wrote that based on the choices she was given by her husband, she did what was best for her child.
“I faced two options: to take care of the child on my own in Armenia, or to abandon my maternal instincts and extend the baby an opportunity to enjoy a decent life with his father in New Zealand. I went for the second option,” according to her post.