36-Year-Old Ashleigh Kirby is obsessed with her new-born baby, Finlay. Only, Finlay isn’t a real boy. In a story that strongly reminds us of Pinocchio, Ashleigh is emotionally attached to a realistic, life-size baby doll, even more than with her own daughter when she was born.
Ashleigh lives with her 12-year-old daughter Becky in Andover, Hampshire. She separated from her partner when Becky was just five. After trying several years, she lost hope that she would ever find a suitable man and have babies again. Describing herself as strongly maternal, she wanted to have a baby in the house at any cost. When Ashleigh came across the ‘reborn’ dolls online, she immediately placed an order for one, priced at £250. She has since spent hundreds of pounds on the doll, on clothing, nappies and more. She takes the doll out to the park for a walk in a stroller, cuddles with it and even takes it shopping, treating it just like a real baby. Sometimes other women come over to her to see the baby, mistaking it for a real one. Ashleigh says she just plays along.