To its owner, and to many who have reborns, it was a baby. Per a local New Hampshire TV station, the aforementioned doll belonged to a Vermont woman named Carolynne Seiffert, who started collecting reborn doll for adoption as a way to cope with the death of her son. That particular doll, named Ainsley, was just one of approximately 40 that she owned. “You can’t know how people choose to deal with their losses in life,” she told the station.

Mental-health experts say this kind of deep emotional connection between a grieving person and a reborn can be useful — whether they’re grieving a child who died or the one they cannot have. “For some women, the fantasy of a baby is powerful, and having the reborn doll allows them to indulge in this fantasy more powerfully,”Dr.Gail Saltz,an associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School, told the Cut. “During those moments they feel a contentment that eludes them in real life.”

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