39 year old Leah Perry who always wanted daughters but endedÂ having fourÂ boys spent around Â£3100 on five lifelike female dolls, which have realistic fingernails and hair. She also spends a fortune on clothes, toys and accessoriesÂ on theÂ dolls and calls them her daughters.
Leah, 39, has been married to husband Chris for 13 years and has four sons â€“ Christian, 13, Caden, 12, Cameron, 11, Caleb, 9. She said:
â€œIâ€™ve had a maternal instinct from a very young age and I really wanted to replace some childhood dolls that I had lost over the years. I went online and started searching for baby dolls and came across these reborn dolls that looked real.
â€œI get to use the girlsâ€™ names I would have had for my own daughters, and buy all the sweet clothes and bows for their hair. They fill in that missing part in my heart. I would love to have daughters, but I didnâ€™t â€“ so now I have reborns.
â€œItâ€™s a very fulfilling thing because I can dress them in the way that I want. They are the daughters I never had.â€
â€œI really enjoy being able to give somebody else that joy of opening up that box with a baby inside,â€ she said.
â€œIt has a lot of meaning for them for whatever reason. They find it very comforting to have that outlet. I donâ€™t find my babies comforting, but I do think they are fun.
â€œI just made a baby with Downâ€™s Syndrome, which I thought was adorable. The woman who ordered the doll said she had a miscarriage where she believed the baby had the condition
However, though the reborn community is a tight-knit one, not everyone is a fan of Leahâ€™s hobby â€“ and even her family are divided. While two of her boys adore the dolls and even take part in dressing them and holding them, her other two find them unnerving.
Â â€œMy husband thinks theyâ€™re a great hobby for me because he knows I love painting them and creating them for customers, and he knows itâ€™s a bit of me time. But he wonâ€™t pick them up â€“ he associates dolls with girls and heâ€™s a bit of a guyâ€™s guy. I do get a lot of people who tell me that Iâ€™m crazy and that theyâ€™re not real children. They donâ€™t understand that itâ€™s just role-play.
Photos of the dolls
Â Source â€“ TheSunUK