girl with down syndrome kissing her father
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
May 7, 2024 ·  4 min read

Baby Girl With Down Syndrome Is Adopted by a Doting Dad After Being Rejected by 20 Families

When baby Alba was born with Down Syndrome, her mother abandoned her. In just 30 days, 20 different families rejected her. Finally, a gay man named Luca Trapanese came to her rescue. Their bond between the pair is absolutely beautiful. (1) This is the story of a little girl with down syndrome and her wonderful father.

Gay Man In Italy Adopts Girl With Down Syndrome

Luca Trapanese spent years volunteering caring for people with disabilities in Naples, Italy. In fact, he and his former partner even founded a charity to support those with disabilities. Trapanese wanted to be a father, but when he and his partner split, Italy’s strict adoption rules made it very difficult for a single man to be placed with a child. (1)

Luca Trapanese with his adopted daughter as a baby
Image Credit: Luca Trapanese / Instagram

“I was told that I’d only be given a child with an illness, a severe disability or with behavioural problems,” he said. (1)

For Trapanese, this was not an issue. In fact, he welcomed it. After all, he’d spent much of his life trying to make the lives of people with disabilities better. Eventually, the agency matched him with a 30-day-old Alba, a little girl with down syndrome. At 41-years old in July 2017, Trapanese officially became her father. Now, the pair are inseparable. (1)

Luca Trapanese laying in a park while his daughter is asleep in a car seat
Image Credit: Luca Trapanese / Instagram

“When I first held her in my arms, I was overcome with joy. I felt she was my daughter straight away. It was the first time I held a newborn baby. Before that moment, I have always been scared, but when I first held Alba, I knew I was ready to be her dad,” he recalled of the special moment. (1)

A Life Spent Helping Others

Trapanese’s desire to help those who are sick, hurting, or in need came from a difficult experience early in his teenage years. At just 14-years-old, he lost his best friend Diego to cancer. When Trapanese heard the news, he knew right then and there that he would be by his best friend’s side right until the end. (2)

A blond girl with down syndrome sitting down and smiling while holding a blue ball outdoors
Image Credit: Luca Trapanese / Instagram

Trapanese went to all of Diego’s hospital appointments with him and helped him with his homework. Whenever Diego needed him, he was there. His parents worked a lot, so many of Diego’s last days were spent just the two of them. (2)

“I stayed with him all throughout this terribly sad, painful experience right up to the very end. Even though we were just kids at the time, we were both very aware of the tragic situation,” Trapanese explained. “Diego was my best friend, and I would do anything to help him. Diego’s death left me with a profound awareness of what living with an illness meant. That’s why I started volunteering with a church in Naples to help critically ill people and kids with disabilities.” (2)

Read: Dads: Treat Your Wives The Way You Want Your Daughter To Be Treated – Like A Queen

The Right Man For The Role

Of course, because of Trapanese’s extensive background in caring for those with illnesses and disabilities, he had all the right knowledge and know-how to properly take care of Alba. For their first few days together, he took Alba up to his family’s country house so they could spend time bonding just the two of them. (2) Next, he hosted a party where he introduced his new daughter to his friends and family. They were almost as overjoyed as he was. They all doted on the little baby and provided all the love that any child could ever need. (2)

Much More Than a Little Girl With Down Syndrome

Trapanese describes Alba, who is now nearly four years old, as a little girl with a big personality. She can be stubborn, but she loves being around other people, dancing and playing. If she could do those things all the time, she would. She also really loves to eat. (2)

“She loves being with other people, so I take her for walks in the park, to the museum, and sometimes I even take her to work with me. She loves that,” he says. (2)

Luca Trapanese laying asleep with his daughter also asleep, laying with her head on his chest
Image Credit: Luca Trapanese / Instagram

Of course, Alba has completely turned Trapanese’s life upside. He couldn’t be happier about it. He says that she brings him a level of joy that he could not get anywhere else. (2)

“Alba was never my second choice because she has a condition, I wanted her to be my daughter. Being a single dad is hard but I have friends whose partners work all day and they’re struggling as well,” he explained. I think that being a parent is hard, full stop. I can see a future for myself now. I’ll spend the rest of my life with the child I love and we’ll do so many amazing things together,” (2)

Looking at all of his photos, it is clear that the daddy-daughter duo is completely in love with each other. Trapanese says that he still often deals with many people who don’t believe gay men should be allowed to adopt children. He views it as an opportunity to try and educate someone and show them that gay men make just as good parents as anyone else. (2) People like Luca should always be celebrated, never shamed. Thanks to him, a beautiful little girl with down syndrome has a loving home.

Follow along with the pair’s adventures here.

Keep Reading: Mother Who Spent 47 Years Caring For Her Son Wished He Wasn’t Born.


  2. Single Dad Adopts Baby Girl With Down Syndrome After She Was Rejected By 20 Families.” Scoop. Jisha Joseph. September 25, 2019.