The mother of baby Leo is reportedly back with her husband and looking to eventually raise their child in Auckland. reported that Armenian Ruzan Badalyan had allegedly applied for New Zealand residency.

Ms Badalyan was accused by her New Zealand husband Samuel Forrest of rejecting their newborn son because he had Down's Syndrome.

Mr Forrest, who has links to the Exclusive Brethren in Wanganui and has four New Zealand children from a previous marriage who he has not seen for years, hit headlines across the world after he started a fundraising campaign to bring himself and Leo to New Zealand.


Baby Leo: The untold story
Mother responds: 'The most ruthless decision'
Father has four NZ children he hasn't seen in years

The campaign has raised more than $664,000.

A source told Stuff: "They want to raise him in New Zealand but it all depends on whether New Zealand Immigration will find it legitimate," said a source, who asked not to be identified.

Samuel Forrest and his Armenian wife Ruzan Badalyan.
Samuel Forrest and his Armenian wife Ruzan Badalyan.

Mr Forrest claimed Ms Badalyan left him a week after Leo was born on January 21 because he refused to give him up to an orphanage. Her family were ashamed of his Down's Syndrome, he said, claiming she would not touch or even look at her son.

However, she hit back saying she knew Leo would have a better life in New Zealand where the condition isn't stigmatised as it is in her native Armenia.

She said in a statement on Facebook that she was faced with "the most ruthless decision" - whether she would keep the baby or not.

"[I] realised that only a move to a country with such standards as New Zealand would entitle my son to a decent life.

"After that incident, he [Mr Forrest] 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."


Mr Forrest said he was shocked when first told of Leo's condition but he never thought of abandoning him.

"They took me in to see him and I looked at this guy and I said 'He's beautiful, he's perfect and I'm absolutely keeping him'," he told ABC.

Babies born with disabilities face a tough life in Armenia and are often rejected by their parents, Mr Forrest said.

The couple filed for a divorce the week after Leo was born.

Ms Badalyan said: "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."

Mr Forrest has said that he is "stunned beyond words" at the amount of money raised for him and Leo.

The money would be used to relocate to Auckland, and to give Leo "higher quality opportunities when it comes to education".

"We will use some of the money you've given to fund facilities and programs here in Armenia that will support future parents to keep their kids despite all disabilities, and to help better care for the special ones who end up away from their Mom & Dad.

"We'd also like to share the surplus funds with the only orphanage in Armenia that regularly takes abandoned Down Syndrome babies."