Why a Family Adopted One Twin — Left Behind by His Birth Parents


Vanessa Delgado tells Yahoo Parenting that her son Anton Delgado, adopted from Moscow, where the boy with a severe and painful genetic skin condition was abandoned by his parents, is “the bravest, toughest happiest kid you will ever meet.” (Photo: Vanessa Delgado/Facebook

Kids like 5-year-old Anton Delgado — who has epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a genetic condition that renders his skin so delicate that any friction or careless touch can cause blistering — are called “butterfly children” for the similarity of their skin to fragile butterfly wings. But a better label for the boy is “amazing,” according to his mother, Vanessa Delgado. 

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In March, Anton endured a bone marrow transplant (which will give him collagen to improve his condition) at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital) and Vanessa tells Yahoo Parenting that the procedure has “truly changed his life.” Yet Anton’s remarkable story actually started back in 2010, Vanessa recently told Today, when the Moscow-born boy was born with a twin brother to a surrogate and abandoned by his biological parents. 


(Photo: Vanessa Delgado/Facebook)

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“The parents took the healthy twin and left him,” Vanessa revealed to Today. And when the Haltom City, Texas, mother and her husband, Jason Delgado, heard about Anton through a story on Facebook, they decided that they wanted to raise him alongside their two other children, Kenya, 8, and Judah, 5. 


(Photo: Courtesy of Vanessa Delgado)

“We always wanted to adopt a child,” she said. “In 2008 … we had conjoined twins, who only lived an hour after their birth.” Through that experience, she added, “we became very medically minded and prepared in our hearts to take care of a child with special needs.” Anton, then age 2, found a new twin of sorts in his adoptive brother Judah, who coincidentally shares his exact birthday. 


The Delgado’s late twins, Melody Joy and Madison Hope, passed away in 2008. (Photo: Margaret Lake Photography)

Vanessa tells Yahoo Parenting that from the moment they brought Anton home, his new brother and sister have adored him. Despite all the attention that Anton has required for his special needs — he used to wake up with a bloodied pillowcase from the friction of his skin against it at night and his shirts would stick to his skin until peeled off using coconut oil — she says the siblings have never been resentful or jealous. “Kenya and Judah are Anton’s biggest supporters,” Vanessa explains. “I have a video of the boys when they were two, and Anton was learning to crawl, and there was Judah right beside him cheering him on. And Kenya loves to set up different activities for him to do occupational and physical therapy. She gets him to work harder than any of his therapists, actually.” 

But when it comes to his biological brother and parents, Vanessa says the family has decided not to reveal much. “Anton knows that he was born in Moscow, but we haven’t talked much about his parents or surrogate parents because I think it would be way too confusing for a 5-year-old to understand,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “We also haven’t told him he has a twin brother. At some point we will share more with him but just little parts on an age- appropriate level.” 


(Photo: Vanessa Delgado).

There are, after all, questions that they will never be able to answer. “We don’t know why his parents chose not to take him, and we will never try to make up a reason,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “We try to give them the benefit of the doubt since we will likely never know why they took the healthy twin and left Anton. It won’t help any of us to talk badly about them and be angry, so instead we just know the little bit we do and not let it consume us.” 

All that Vanessa would like Anton’s parents to know, if she could talk with them, is that he is healthy and happy. “Post-transplant, his skin is doing amazing,” she says. “The bone marrow transplant isn’t a cure, but it has already improved his quality of life so much. He still has EB, but now it is just less severe. He hardly ever gets new wounds or blisters, and his skin is so tough now I can rub it with a glove and it stays intact.” 

Even more miraculous, though, is that while Anton’s adoptive family has helped him heal, he’s made them stronger, too. “I would tell his biological parents that Anton is amazing,” Vanessa gushes. “He is the bravest, toughest, happiest kid you will ever meet, and we are so thankful that he is our son.” 

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