Adopting Children with Complex Health Needs and Disabilities with Carrie and David Grant

In this You Can Adopt podcast, Carrie and David Grant speak to single dad, Ben, from West Yorkshire, who first became a father at 21. Since his first adoption, he has adopted a total of six children with complex needs – Jack, thirteen, Ruby, ten, Lily, eight, Joseph, five, Louis, two, and son Teddy (who sadly passed away at the end of 2019). Now 36, Ben always had the desire to become a dad. He recalls that he found his niche working in a school for children with complex needs, but something else was missing: “I loved being around these children, but I knew I wanted one of my own.”

Before adopting, Ben thought he had to have a certain profession and be in a relationship to be eligible. He was soon proved wrong – Ben says: “There is no such thing as a stereotypical family – everyone is different. There are many families that identify themselves in different ways. As long as the love and support is there, that is what makes a family.”

Carrie and David have four children with additional needs themselves, including one adopted child. They speak about Ben’s decision to adopt children with complex needs, his network and the support he receives to do so, as well as his day-to-day routine. This candid episode explores the challenges and rewards of adoption, with a particular focus on children with physical and mental disabilities.

The ultimate aim of the series is to understand adoption from the perspective of a wide range of people, including adoptees, adopters and birth parents. It is hoped that potential adopters will come to understand more about adoption and the potential richness of the adoption experience.