A SUPER-DAD who adopted five disabled children has urged people to get involved in the adoption process.

Ben Carpenter, 35, grew up in Blackwood and currently lives in Yorkshire. The single parent has become a dad to five children with a vast range of disabilities over the last ten years.

Mr Carpenter, who sits on an adoption panel, said there is a serious shortage of adopters in the UK and a serious rise of children in need of adoption.

He feels the lack of awareness of the situation and roles around adoption plays a part in people being unwilling to adopt.

“As an adoption panel member, I know that there is a shortage of adopters. This is partly due to the misconceptions of who can adopt," said Mr Carpenter.

(One-year-old Noah is the latest addition to Mr Carpenter's family)

“People think that you need to have a lot of money and be in a relationship to be able to adopt.

“That is not the case as adoption centres will welcome anyone as long as they can provide the child with a safe space and pass security checks.

(Lily and Ruby are biological sisters and kept together by Mr Carpenter)

“Anyone can be a parent,” he told the South Wales Argus.

Mr Carpenter explained that he decided at a young age he didn’t want biological children - rather, he wanted to adpot.

At first, he became a dad to Jack, who is now aged 11 and suffers with autism.

He said that a year after taking on Jack, he wanted a girl and along came Ruby.

(Ben with his oldest son, Jack)

Ruby, now aged eight, has Pierre Robin syndrome and limited use of her arms due to missing bones. Soon after taking on Ruby, Mr Carpenter became aware that she had a deaf sister Lily, aged six, and couldn’t resist adopting her too.

He then decided that it was right to round his family off with another boy, so three-year-old Joseph who has Downs Syndrome, became the next addition.

(Three-year-old Joseph)

Although happy with his little family, he was casually flicking through an adoption magazine featuring ‘hard to place’ chidlren and instantly fell in love with one-year-old Noah, who has a genetic condition called Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

“I saw that he had very complex needs and thought ‘this little boy needs me’,” he said.

Mr Carpenter has always had a caring side and knew this from a young age.

As he was growing up in Blackwood, his father was the vicar of Bedwellty and they used to go on church pilgrimages with elderly and disabled people.


He vividly remembers shopping in Blackwood with his grandfather and how people would look at little children with disabilities.

“I remember going over to the child and saying: ‘Hi I’m Ben, how are you’,” he said.

When he moved to Yorkshire, he worked in care homes and a residential home for children and adults with complex needs.

“I knew I found my niche when working in the residential home,” he said.

Mr Carpenter added: “I knew I wanted to adopt a child with a disability because I knew how to care for them with my experience in the residential home.

“I felt that I could give them the love and care they need.”

Despite not being the children’s biological dad, he said they have a lot of his traits.

“I have a can-do attitude and this has been passed on to the children.

“They have defied medical professionals.

“Ruby was told that she would never walk, talk or eat but she is doing all three. If she wants to do something, she does it in her own way.

“That is the same for all of them. They may do it slightly differently to others but they do it nonetheless.”

Mr Carpenter is now trying to better his children’s lives by creating a sensory room in his house.

The room will create a safe space for the children to learn and play.

They will be able to feel comfortable in the space, however, it does not come at a cheap price.

Mr Carpenter has been quoted £10,000 for the sensory room. He has set up a JustGiving page in the hope of raising the funds to be able to make this dream a reality.

As of writing, £1,149 has been raised in three months.

Mr Carpenter wants to put out a call to arms for people to open their hearts and homes to the many children in need of a permanent home.

He said: “It’s the most wonderful and rewarding experience.

“I’m not going to lie, there are tough times as with raising any child.

“It takes a very understanding person to turn a child’s life around and help them cope with their possibly traumatic backgrounds.

“But you can find a different you, you find a different way of thinking.

“This [adopting] takes a lot of commitment and can go wrong. While you are fostering the child, there are still tests and checks being run and they may be able to go back to their birth parents or relatives.

"But there are many children who are waiting patiently to be adopted and brought into a loving family home.

“Adopted children are not all tearaways, they can easily be part of a family.”

Mr Carpenter ended with a plea to those who may be thinking about adopting.

He said: “If you can give the time, compassion and a safe space to look after a child, please contact your local adoption centre.”