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'Reborn babies' adopted by grieving mothers

Beatrice Debut / AFP - Getty Images

Plastic heads and limbs of 'reborn babies', dolls which will be made to look just like real babies, are displayed at the reborn babies fair in Brentwood, England on February 27.

"She reminds me of my daughter when she was a child," says Eve Hasty . Weighing around 11 pounds, with perfectly combed hair and her eyes closed in sleep, Abby looks like a baby girl. But she is a doll, adopted by a grieving mother to help her come to terms with the loss of a child.

"She brings me peace of mind when I take her in my arms, when I change her clothes," says the 57-year-old retiree from Oklahoma, who had a daughter who died from leukemia at the age of 7.

Beatrice Debut / AFP - Getty Images

Finished 'reborn babies', dolls which are made to look just like real babies, on sale at the reborn babies fair in Brentwood, England on February 27.

The doll was crafted by Nikki Hunn, a British graphic designer who now specializes in making reborn babies. AFP photographer Beatrice Debut took these pictures of Hunn's dolls at a fair in Brentwood, east of London, in February. Hunn says that she has built around half a dozen dolls for women who have lost a child, but that the majority of her customers are simply passionate about dolls.

Beatrice Debut / AFP - Getty Images

Plastic heads and limbs of Nikki Hunn's 'reborn babies', dolls which are made to look just like real babies.

You can read Beatrice Debut's full article (in French) at Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien.

Mike Celizic of Today.com also investigated the lifelike doll phenomenon in 2008.