Single man adopts his sixth child with special needs

Ben Carpenter, 37, became the youngest gay man to adopt when he took on his first child at the age of just 21 years old.

Since then, he has adopted another five children with special needs, as part of his mission to help the most vulnerable children as best he can.

Ben’s adoption journey began with Jack, who is now 14 years old and has autism.

Next came Ruby, now 11, Lilly, who is deaf, nine, and Joseph, aged six, who has Down’s Syndrome.

Ben’s fifth adoptive child was Teddy, who sadly passed away in November 2019 after contracting sepsis.

After a period of grief, Ben adopted his sixth child, Louis, in April 2020.

Louis, two, has cerebral palsy and is blind.

Ben, from Huddersfield, said: ‘I’ve always known what I wanted.

‘I never wanted to become a biological dad because being a parent is so much more than that.

‘I wanted to help kids that were the most vulnerable and the ones that were most in need of a loving and caring home.

‘I had a lot to prove at such a young age. I needed to show that I was mature enough and could offer these kids what they needed.

‘The good thing about adoption that you can’t do in pregnancy is picking the gender of the child.

‘So to begin with I chose a boy and then a girl because I thought that would be the perfect set up and luckily got accepted and matched with my son and daughter, Jack and Ruby.

‘I was then asked if I would take my biological daughter’s sister which I agreed to do.

‘So I had two girls and one boy and I thought I should even it out again and adopt another son.

‘I applied for a boy with Down Syndrome and within three days I was matched to a baby boy who had just been born with the condition.’

A few years after adopting his first four children, Ben was reading a magazine article when he saw Teddy, who was in desperate need of a family.

Later, his death made Ben feel ‘devastated and guilty’, prompting a break from the adoptive process.

‘I kept wondering if there was something I could have done to fix it,’ said the Dad.

But before Teddy had passed away, Ben had been contacted to see if he would consider adopting Louis, who has severe brain issues.

After grieving the loss of Teddy, Ben was overjoyed to welcome Louis into his life.

‘In early 2020 I realised that this little boy also needed me and I could be his last option so I called the social worked and started the process again,’ he said.

‘In April 2020, Louis came home to be with us and has gone from strength to strength ever since.’

Caring for six children – all of whom have complex needs – isn’t easy.

Ben is currently trying to raise money to create a sensory room for his family (you can donate through JustGiving).

But no matter how tricky things become, Ben is so happy with his life as a parent-of-six.

‘I had always dreamed about having a big family,’ said Ben.

‘I often sit and imagine them all at each other’s weddings.

‘They are all so supportive of each other’s needs and I am so proud that I have created a happy, loving and stable environment for them to grow up in.

‘As much as I have changed their life, they have also changed mine.

‘And I would never say never to having another child.’

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article