In a heartwarming interview, Ben Carpenter reveals his journey as an adoptive single dad of children with disabilities.
Adopting a child as an unmarried individual can be very difficult. However, whether or not you would like to agree, it becomes even harder when you're a single man — simply because of problematic stereotypes that deem men to not be as nurturing or caring as women. Despite all the odds being against him, 35-year-old Ben Carpenter from West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom has just adopted his fifth disabled child, reports The Daily Mail. His family may not be the most conventional one out there, but he says he's not done yet — he has plans of adopting even more children!
Carpenter, who is a full-time father, currently has five children with a wide range of disabilities: Jack, 11, Ruby, eight, Lily, six, Joseph, three, and Noah, one. Their disabilities range from Autism to Pierre Robin syndrome. His youngest, Noah, was diagnosed with a genetic condition known as Cornelia de Lange syndrome while Jack has autism, Ruby has Pierre Robin syndrome and limited use of her arms because of missing bones, Lily is deaf, and Joseph has Down's Syndrome.
Speaking about Noah, whose rare syndrome and severe birth defects impact both all his limbs, the single dad stated, "Noah is great and has fit in to our family just perfectly and, to be honest, it's like always been there! His new brothers and sisters are great with him, Lily, in particular, is extremely maternal and helps me feed Noah and things."
Reportedly, he instantly "fell in love" with Noah when he first saw him. Carpenter said, "I was flicking through an adoption magazine that comes from monthly featuring children who are deemed as 'hard to place' children, when I came across this picture of a little baby by quite clearly had severe complex needs. I thought to myself this little boy needs to join our family where he can be part of something special, but more importantly someone who can accept him and his disability. I instantly fell in love with him what with his mass of brown hair and his beautiful blue eyes I knew instantly I wanted him to be my son."
His affinity towards adopting children with disabilities came at a young age when he was working at a residential school for children and adults with disabilities. During an interview with The Daily Mail, he explained, "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. 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. Due to previously working with disabled adults and children, 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."
Carpenter first came across the idea to adopt children when he saw an advert. "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," he shared. "But I told them who I was and where I worked and they were really positive and quite enthusiastic about me adopting a child."
Carpenter was never keen on having his own children. "I've never wanted biological children because there's much, much more than just being biologically linked to a child," he revealed. "My children are my children - for example, they have the same mannerisms as me. Yes, they might not have the same blood as me, but who cares!" It has now been nine years since he adopted his first child. He claimed, "Nine years on, I have five children and I wouldn't change a thing."