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Medal award for 'superdad' adopter Ben.

Byline: ANDREW ROBINSON

andrew.robinson@reachplc.com @Andrew_Examiner SINGLE 'superdad' Ben Carpenter is to receive a British Citizen Award for his work educating people about adoption.

The 33-year-old from Huddersfield has been called an 'adopter extraordinaire' and 'something of a unique individual' by the British Citizenship Awards (BCA).

Ben, a single gay dad who has adopted four children with special needs, will receive his award at a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster on July 5. A spokesman for the BCA said: "When he started his adoption journey 12 years ago, Benjamin was the youngest gay adopter in the UK. Now the single dad has four children.

The reality children over old, and special needs, to be a "Each of them has special needs: 10-year-old Jack is autistic with autism-related OCD. Ruby, seven, has Pierre Robin syndrome, scoliosis and limited use of her arms as a result of missing radius bones and is registered blind.

"Lily, Ruby's five-year-old half-sister, is profoundly deaf and uses British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate.

"Most recently adopted three-year-old Joseph has Down's syndrome and uses a colostomy bag. And it doesn't stop there; Benjamin is considering adopting child number five."

The BCA spokesman said Ben talked about his passion for adoption at community groups.

"He starts meetings with prospective adopters by asking them, 'What are you looking for in adoption?' "Many adopters start with what he calls the 'Angelina Jolie or Madonna adoption' - where everything is perfect.

"However, the reality is that many children over four years old, and those with special needs, struggle to be placed with a family because they do not fit that mould.

"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.'" ."

Ben is one of 29 people who will receive a medal and a certificate at the ceremony, which will be hosted by Lord Dholakia.

is that many four years those with struggle placed with family Each person will receive Medal of Honour inscribed with the words 'For the Good of the Country'.

Medallists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.

The British Citizen Awards were launched in 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society.

BCAs are awarded twice annually and recognise extraordinary people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked. The award is the latest to be picked up by Ben. Earlier this year he won the an Achievement Award at the Examiner's Community Awards.

He also previously was named Britain's Adopter Champion of the Year.

The reality is that many children over four years old, and those with special needs, struggle to be placed with a family

CAPTION(S):

Ben Carpenter with his children, Joseph, Lily, Ruby and Jack

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jun 18, 2018
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