Sunday, 30 April 2017

Lovin Malta: WATCH: I'm Ben, I'm Two Years Old And I'm Making History

A Maltese boy's journey to a loving home
Chucky Bartolo March 2017

Little Ben is making history. He was the first child to be adopted by a Maltese same-sex couple Kris and Steve.

Ben also happens to have Down Syndrome.

Malta first met Ben eight months ago, after his father, Kris, posted a touching message on Facebook introducing him to the world, and thanking everyone for their support. But we now know that Ben's journey wasn't always easy, and he's overcome incredible odds to be the superstar he is today.

At just five months old, Ben underwent double heart surgery in London. The procedure was tough on such a young child, but Ben was tough and with the help of his fathers he pushed through and bounced back better than ever.

Doctors told Kris and Steve that Ben would have trouble learning to walk and eat independently, but a month before his first birthday he started eating solid food (with a particular fondness for clementines and pasta with cheese). A few months after that he learnt how to walk on his own.

Ben's parents work hard to ensure he has the best environment in which to grow and develop. He learns through observation and repetition, and with an incredibly inquisitive mind, and sometimes far too much confidence, Ben has made leaps and bounds.

March 21st marks World Down Syndrome Day, and Ben's parents would like to make a simple message very clear: Down Syndrome is not a tragedy. Although no local data is available, some statistics point towards 92% of fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome being aborted. That means for every 100 babies like Ben, only eight are given a chance at life.

But even those eight aren't always given a fair shot. As the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated, Ben has been refused by over 50 couples before he found a loving home, which questions the social morality and the ideology of the perfect child.

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