But not all who decide to invest in a reborn in the hopes of therapeutic benefits are in a state of denial about their situation. Just over two months ago, Amy Ferguson received Oliver: a 22-inch, 4 pound, 4 ounce reborn she bought on Etsy. “So he is really like a brand-new baby,” she told the Cut, before sending a photo of herself cradling Oliver against her chest. Ferguson, who has schizoaffective disorder, says Oliver has been like an anchor for her. “Doing things like dressing him, taking him on walks on nice days, changing his diapers — it helps me feel like I’m taking care of him.”
Another person, Tavi, told the Cut that the dolls appeal to them because they can’t have biological children for medical reasons. They’re currently in the process of buying their first reborn, which they hope will provide them “a little outlet for wanting to be nurturing and motherly.” They think a lot of people in similar situations are drawn to reborns.
“It’s a positive outlet for people that need to be a parent,” they told the Cut, “for those of us who never will be.”
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