He was told he could only adopt a disabled child. Now the internet has fallen in love with them.

Luca Trapanese and his daughter, Alba
Luca Trapanese and his daughter, Alba Photo: Provided

Gay Instagram is full of shirtless thots and muscle laden hunks/bears/otters and the like, many of them hoping to become the next big influencer. But there is one gay Instagram user whose feed has captured and stolen the hearts of people around the world, but not because of his thirst trap photos.

Luca Trapanese’s Instagram has blown up because it features heavily his adorable daughter, Alba, whom he adopted when she was just 30 days old.

Related: Hero dads adopt six siblings from foster care to keep them all together

One look at Trapanese’s feed, and you can understand why he is head over heels for her. But it’s the story of their union that makes the photos so compelling.

Mr. Trapanese made headlines recently when he shared his story of adopting Alba with the BBC. As a gay single man, Trapanease was subject to strict Italian adoption laws that impose strict conditions for eligibility.

“I was told that I’d only be given a child with an illness, a severe disability or with behavioral problems,” said Trapanese. “I was absolutely OK with that.”

Trapanese has dedicated his life to helping people with illness and disabilities, a calling he answered after witnessing his friend Diego die of cancer when Trapanese was 14.

“Diego’s death left me a profound awareness of what living with illness meant,” he said.  “I started volunteering in a church in Naples to help critically ill people and kids with disabilities.”

As an adult, Luca Trapanese felt he could make the most impact on people as a priest and he entered the seminary at 25. It was during this time that he met a man and fell in love. He soon left school and spent the next 11 years with his partner.

Together they founded a charity in Naples that served people with disabilities. It was through this experience that Trapanese came upon the idea of starting his own family through adoption. However, he and his partner ended up separating before they could.

“I still really wanted to become a father, but at the time in Italy it wasn’t possible for a single parent to adopt,” Trapanese told LGBTQ Nation.

At the beginning of 2017, though, things changed and Trapanese was finally able to go through with the adoption, albeit with the condition that he be given only a child with problems.

“I was happy to adopt whoever would come my way because of my personal experience, I knew I had the resources to deal with whatever problem this child might have.”

It wasn’t long before he received the call that there was a baby girl named Alba available for him to adopt.

“She had Downs Syndrome and she had been abandoned by her biological mother. She had also been rejected by more than 20 families,” he said.

Trapanese immediately said yes and sped to the hospital to pick up his new daughter.

“When I first held her in my arms, I was overcome with joy. I felt she was my daughter straight away,” he said.

Luca Trapanese says Alba revolutionized his life and that everything revolves around her.

“She brings me happiness and a sense of fulfillment. I’m proud to be her dad,” he said. “Alba was never my second choice because she had a condition. I wanted her to be my daughter.”

He has gone on to write a book about his experience, Nata Per Te (Born For You), which has been a huge success. Trapanese is now a regular on the tv talk show and speaking circuit in Italy. He’s also become a bit of a social media sensation on Instagram.

“We didn’t expect it to be an overnight success. I think mine and Alba’s story shatters stereotypes about fatherhood, religion, and family. This is nothing but our life story.”

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