The following story is based on quotes from various English national newspapers...
36-year-old Ashleigh Kirby from Andover in England takes her Reborn doll Finlay shopping, regularly changes his nappies and has spent hundreds of pounds on clothes for the £250 doll that she bought online.
Ashleigh, who already has a 12-year daughter Becky, bought the doll six months ago after seperating from her partner as she feared she would never have children again.
She is now planning to extend her family, with another doll to keep the first company, which she is planning to call Summer.
Ashleigh said she thought about adopting after separating from her partner but was "too lazy". She added: 'I always thought something was missing in my life and, when I saw the babies, immediately I knew what it was.
'The dolls are a substitute for me. I am very maternal. I bought Finlay six months ago for £250 from a lady I found online. Half of my bedroom is taken up by his cot and I also have a pram, a car seat and a wardrobe of clothes. He wears a nappy which I change - although not as regularly as you would a real baby."
Looking at Finlay for the first time, there was a stronger bond than I had with Becky. There was an immediate rush of love. With Becky, I was so tired after the birth I didn't feel as close to her."
Becky admits she has hidden her 'brother' from classmates and says she finds her mum's obsession 'weird'.
Beckys next comments could be shocking to some...
"I don't really understand it. I don't think mum prefers Finlay, but she can't give me all the attention like she used to."
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