Single Dad, 35, Adopts Fifth Child Who Has Disabilities: 'I Wouldn't Change a Thing'
Ben Carpenter has been a constant advocate for adoption and is an example of the happiness it can bring
A single father from England has adopted five children with special needs over the last decade and has plans to adopt even more.
Ben Carpenter recently adopted 1-year-old Noah and shared his story ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday, the Mirror reports. The boy has a rare genetic disorder known as Cornelia de Lange syndrome that causes physical, cognitive, and medical challenges for the baby boy. But Carpenter knew he was the perfect person to give Noah a loving home, as he has much experience raising children with medical difficulties.
The 35-year-old adopted four other children over the years — Jack, 11, Ruby, 8, Lily, 6, and Joseph, 3 — who have complex needs, such as autism and Pierre Robin syndrome, which causes developmental malformations, the publication reports.
“Even at the age of 21 I knew I wanted to be a father as soon as possible — I may have only been young but I’ve always had an old head on my shoulders,” Carpenter, of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, told the Mirror. “I was convinced with me being single as well that they wouldn’t take me seriously — but I was over the moon when they did.”
Carpenter said he previously worked with adults and children with special needs before deciding to adopt a child with disabilities, and this experience made him confident he could take on the responsibility of becoming a father.
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“I knew it was only right for me to adopt a disabled child because I knew I’d be able to care for them properly,” he recalled to the publication. “I originally saw an advertisement from local adoption social services looking for adoptive parents; and I thought, well, they’re not going to want me as a single guy. But I told them who I was and where I worked and they were really positive and quite enthusiastic about me adopting a child.”
“Nine years on, I have five children and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Carpenter added.
Carpenter has been an outspoken advocate for adoption and has been recognized for his efforts. He was named “adopter extraordinaire” by the British Citizenship Awards last year.
“It’s a lovely feeling, to be honest. Firstly, the child is no longer a ‘looked after’ child — they are officially yours,” he told the Examiner Live. “They are no longer in the care system and they have your surname. They are part of the family unit. As a parent, that is a wonderful feeling. For the child — if they are aware — it is a feeling of security.”
Now that his family is even larger, Carpenter said if he comes across another child who may be in need of his help, he would consider adding another to his happy clan.
“If in the future a child really needed me and my help, I’m sure I would end up adopting them,” he told the Mirror. “I definitely see myself fostering more children though — I just love being a dad.”