Mom Didn’t Want To Raise Her Baby With Down Syndrome, So Dad Decided To Do It Alone

@evgen_tyz via Instagram

Being a parent is amazing but also difficult. Even before the baby is born, parents are busy preparing and planning. Then, when they hold the child for the very first time, the fact that they are parents becomes even more real.

One in every 700 to 800 children in the world is born with Down Syndrome, a condition caused by an extra chromosome. Evgeny Anisimov didn’t find out that his son had Down Syndrome until after he was born.

Less than 2 minutes after his son, Misha, was born, the doctor told Animisov and his wife, “I fear your baby has Down Syndrome.”

Animisov started researching Down Syndrome that night. He told Bored Panda, “I started looking for information about the syndrome that same night when I returned home. I knew nothing about my son’s diagnosis. I only remembered a terrible photo from a Soviet biology textbook. I went online and researched. I learned about Evelina Bledans and her Semyon, who was born in the same maternity ward as Mishka. I learned that in Europe, people with Down Syndrome are well-socialized, can live and work independently. But the decision I had already made was not influenced by that.”

While Animisov, who lives in Russia, felt relieved knowing that his son could have a good life even with Down Syndrome, his wife decided that she didn’t want to raise her own child due to the diagnosis. She and Animisov ended up separating because of their disagreement about whether to raise Mishka themselves or, as his wife wanted, to put him in foster care.

Animisov has been raising Mishka by himself as a single dad ever since. His mother helps him out sometimes, which allows him to take a much needed break from parenting on occasion, but he has changed his life to raise his son. Animisov explained, “This has changed my life. I had a good job in Moscow and this was a big turning point in my career, but I couldn’t leave my son. He needed love and warmth. I am an ordinary worker now, but I have a normal salary in my city. I lost my wife, but I am happy with the changes. My son is a very good and open kid like every other kid of his age, he loves me and it shows.”

Animisov doesn’t hold it against his ex-wife that she didn’t agree with him about raising their child. He explained, “Now I understand that she was just scared at the time.” He doesn’t want other parents to be scared at the prospect of raising a child with Down Syndrome. He hopes that his story, that he is able to successfully raise his son on his own, will inspire other parents to realize that they can do it too. He explained, “Have no fear! Everything will be fine!”