BENJAMIN CARPENTER BCAe
Benjamin, 33, is committed to educating people about child adoption. He is a panel Member and Media Advocate for the UK Adoption Service and works energetically to eradicate the many myths that exist around adoption – especially within the LGBT community.
When he started his adoption journey 12-years ago, Benjamin was the youngest gay adopter in the UK. Now, the single Dad has adopted four children all with specific and varying special needs: 10-year-old Jack is autistic with autism-related OCD. Ruby, 7, has Pierre Robin syndrome, scoliosis and limited use of her arms as a result of missing radius bones and is registered blind. Lily, 5, is profoundly deaf and uses British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate. And 3-year-old Joseph, has Down’s syndrome and uses a colostomy bag.
Many adopters start with what Ben calls the ‘Angelina Jolie or Madonna adoption’ — where everything is perfect. However, the reality is that many children over 4 years old, and those with special needs, struggle to be placed with a family because they do not fit that mold. Benjamin shows them photos of his own children and tells his story — the positive and negative — and through educating prospective adopters dispels any notion of “normal.”
Nominated by: Rita Carpenter