Gay Catholic Italian man 'shatters stereotypes' with adopted Down syndrome daughter

Father and child/ daughter holding hands, fathers wedding ring is clearly visible.
Photo credit: Getty

A man in Italy who adopted a young girl with Down syndrome is gaining a steady following online.

Luca Trapanese, a gay Catholic man, is challenging parental stereotypes in his native country.  

The 41-year-old adopted his daughter Alba in 2017, when she was barely a month old.

Since then, he has documented their life together on social media.

Trapanese said that because he was a single parent, he was told he would only be able to adopt a child with health or behavioural problems.

"I was absolutely okay with that," he told the BBC in an interview last year.

He said he would care for any baby he could adopt.

In July 2017, Trapanese got a phone call saying a potential daughter had been found.

The baby had Down syndrome, and had been abandoned by her biological mother and rejected by more than 20 families.  

But Trapanese said none of that mattered. "I struggled to contain my joy" at the news, he said.

He told the BBC he was confident he "had the right knowledge and experience" to adopt the baby.

"Since I was 14 years old, I have volunteered and worked with the disabled."

Since adopting Alba and beginning to share his life online, Trapanese has amassed more than 100,000 followers on Instagram.

A photo of Trapanese and his daughter posted to Instagram on Monday has received more than 8000 likes.

"How fortunate this little girl is to have found you, and you her," one person commented on the photo in Italian.

Trapanese has also written a book about his experiences.

And despite playing a role in breaking stereotypes, he says that was never the goal.

"I think mine and Alba's story shatters so many stereotypes about fatherhood, religion and family. But I didn't mean it to be that way - this is nothing but our life story."