Jo Phillips writes:
A reborn doll is a vinyl doll that has been customised by a process of repainting and enhancement to resemble, as closely as possible, a real human baby. The process of doing this is called “reborning” – interesting in itself given the Christian connotations of the word.
Etymological interest aside, it is also, culturally, a fascinating phenomenon. Take a look at Oak Tree Nursery where you can see pictures of “available babies” and “adopt” your own. Clips from Channel 4’s recent My Fake Baby documentary inform us that for some “mothers” reborns are the perfect child because they “never grow out of their clothes or soil them”. For others they provide a child substitute once their own children have grown up and left home. Fake babies, fake mothers: with Mother’s Day still a fresh memory in this country I have to admit I find this blurring of virtual and real rather disturbing.
Image from Little Angels Nursery