According to the National Down Syndrome Congress, 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born every year in the USA.
This disability is undoubtedly a great challenge for parents due to the multiple health problems associated with it.
Yet, the condition itself is not such a serious obstacle as it used to be, primarily due to the advancement in modern medicine, which now successfully manages to improve different aspects of life and life expectancy of people with this condition.
Moreover, a study published by the American Journal of Medical Genetics revealed that families who live with people with Down syndrome have very high happiness rates.
And the following story is a happy one indeed!
The 42-year-old Italian single dad Luca Trapanese met his 2-year-old daughter Alba when she was a few days old. She had been put up for adoption and has been rejected by twenty families because she had Down syndrome, and they couldn’t handle adopting a child with disabilities.
However, this kind-hearted man has worked with various social service organizations since he was 14, including “A Ruota Libera” Foundation, a group that assists children with Down syndrome.
Moreover, his biggest wish was to become a father. He said that he wanted to sow his love, affection, and knowledge in another creature.
Trapanese said that a disabled child is not a second choice, but a conscious choice he made, and he was not afraid at all.
He and his partner Eduardo had the idea in the past years, but then they separated.
Yet, his experience made him determined to adopt a child, as he was sure he had the right tools for it. He made a request in the special register that allows singles to adopt in special conditions.
Yet, adoption agencies usually prefer “traditional families” over adopters that don’t fit the conventional two-parent heterosexual relationship mold. In Italy, gay couples are not allowed to adopt a child, and adoptions by single parents were very complicated until recently.
He was told he could only adopt children with illnesses, severe disabilities or behavioral problems, a child who had been rejected by all traditional families.
And he was overjoyed!
Luca particularly wanted to be the father of a disabled child or a victim of violence, a decision that had its reasons.
In July 2017, they called him to inform him that there is a girl he can adopt. She was called Alba, she was 13 days old, and she had Down syndrome.
Her mother had abandoned the baby at birth, and she had been rejected by over 20 families since then. Yet, Trapanese was thrilled, and the minute they met, he knew he has found his daughter.
When he held her in his arms, he says he was filled with joy and felt she was her daughter, and that he was prepared to become her father.
The case of the 42-year old father had a huge impact in his home country, as it fought numerous stereotypes about family, religion and fatherhood.
Alba is 2 years old now, and she is full of life, loves playing and dancing, and has a strong personality. Her father adds that she likes being with other people, so he often takes her to walk to the park, to museums or to work.
He even published a book that reveals their story Nata Per Te (Born for You), written with Luca Mercadante.
Trapanese claims he is proud to be Alba’s father, and admits he now sees his future clearly, as he plans to spend the rest of his life with a girl he loves.
Today, Luca’s life revolves around Alba, and he claims his daughter brought him happiness and a sense of fulfillment, so she “revolutionized his life and everything revolves around her.”