Ben Carpenter first adopted a kid at the age of 21 and believes in providing care and a home to kids who need it the most.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 17, 2021. It has since been updated.
A selfless single man who has adopted six children plans to adopt more in the hope of giving them a better life. Ben Carpenter, who's 37, adopted his first child at the age of 21 and has over the years adopted five children with disability. Carpenter, who hails from Huddersfield in England, has made it his personal mission to help vulnerable children. He adopted two-year-old Louis in 2021. The doting dad adopts kids that he believes are in most need of care and a home. He is determined to continue providing a happy home for kids.
The first child that Carpenter adopted, Jack, is now a 14-year-old, reported The Mirror. He has autism. Ruby, who's 11, has a complex disability. Nine-year-old Lilly is profoundly deaf, and Joseph, aged six, has Down syndrome. His fifth child, Teddy, had tragically died in November 2019. Teddy had a rare genetic disorder, Cornelia de Lange syndrome, but he passed away due to sepsis and not because of a result of his disability. "I was devastated and I felt guilty for a while because I kept wondering if there was something I could have done to fix it," he said. After the death of Teddy, Carpenter was grieving and decided to adopt his sixth child later than planned. Louis, his sixth child, has cerebral palsy and is blind.
Huddersfield 'super dad' Ben Carpenter reflects on stressful year of lockdowns and adopting his sixth child What a superb Gentleman 💙 https://t.co/OcsHGqejm7— Yorkshire Rose (@YorksRose_84) December 31, 2020
Carpenter always wanted to have a family of his own, but he wasn't particular about being a biological dad. He had worked in the care sector and had always wanted to help out those who were most vulnerable. "I never wanted to become a biological dad because being a parent is so much more than that," said Carpenter. "I wanted to help kids that were the most vulnerable and the ones that were most in need of a loving and caring home."
It took almost three years for him to convince authorities that he was really serious about adoption. He also became one of the youngest gay men in the country to adopt a child. Needless to say, his journey hasn't been easy and he still hears a lot of different opinions about being a single gay dad. "I often get passing comments like ‘it’s not right’ and ‘because you are gay then all of the children will be gay then won’t they,’ other comments I get are he must be doing it for money? To me, they are just comments I can handle it. I do find myself correcting silly naive comments. In all honesty 70% of the time, they do see sense once it’s explained to them,” said Ben to Unilad.
Having started adopting kids at such a young age, he needed to prove that he was capable enough to take care of them. "I needed to show that I was mature enough and could offer these kids what they needed," said the 37-year-old. "So to begin with I chose a boy and then a girl because I thought that would be the perfect setup and luckily got accepted and matched with my son and daughter, Jack and Ruby." He also adopted his biological daughter's sister. "So I had two girls and one boy and I thought I should even it out again and adopt another son," said Carpenter. "So 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."
Prior to Teddy's death, he had planned on adopting a boy with severe brain issues but couldn't go through with it despite agreeing to, as he was grieving. In early 2020, Carpenter made inquiries about adopting the boy. "I realized that this little boy also needed me and I could be his last option," he said. Everything worked out and Louis came home in April. What brings him joy more than anything is watching the relationship between siblings in his home. "I often sit and imagine them all at each other's weddings. They are all so supportive of each other and I am so proud that I have created a happy, loving, and stable environment for them to grow up in."
Carpenter said he has plans to adopt more kids. He also plans to build a sensory room to help the children with sensory issues, developmental disabilities, and learning difficulties. The room gives the children a special place to escape to and feel safe and secure in. With a room designed specifically for them, the children have control over what they want to interact with," he wrote. You can help him build the sensory room at his fundraiser.