Gay Couple Raise a Doll

Mrs. - posted on 03/19/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )




For 20 years, a gay couple from New York has cared for their son Digby without having to worry he'll grow out of his clothes or one day venture out into the world on his own.

Mark Kirby and A.J. Sapolnick bought Digby, a doll they found in a Paris flea market, 20 years ago, and the three have been inseparable since. Kirby and Sapolnick take their son everywhere, from Central Park to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

"Our intention was to create a family," Kirby said to The Daily. "And Digby was going to be part of our family."

Though the couple acknowledge their family is unconventional, they don't treat him like a doll — they don't even like the word.

"He's never been in a suitcase, Sapolnick says. "Because it wasn't out intention to have a toy."


What do you think, creepy or sad? Do you think this kind of thing would be happening if gay couple's road through the adoption process was easier? Or do you think these are just two random weirdos?


Johnny - posted on 03/19/2011




I've got no real issue with people and the dolls. Not my thing, but there are weirder things to be into. However, I have an issue with comparing it to actually having a child. They are two separate things. You can not replace a kid with a pet or a doll. If they think they can, it's probably a good thing they didn't have kids. Dogs are fantastic. Dolls are nice. Kids can be real brats. I'm not saying one is inherently better, but the just are not replacements for one another.

Charlie - posted on 03/19/2011




I dont think it has anything to do with it being hard to adopt as a gay couple , it's just their thing and it's actually not as uncommen as you would think with underground groups that have dolls as children , girlfriends and wives , you mainly find this subculture in Asian countries but America has a " doll family " following too not just with gay couples but straight couples too .

Do I think it's creepy or sad ? ....not really it's their thing and it doesnt affect me in the slightest if they are happy then why should I be sad about it ?


One woman in the BBC documentary, married and in her 40s, said she wanted a real baby, but was too busy to commit to caring for a real one. A reborn doll satisfies her maternal instincts, she said, without all the carrying on and mess.

Reborns, she said, “never grow out of their clothes, never soil them. It's just fabulous. The only difference, of course, is these guys don't move.”


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Tara - posted on 03/20/2011




I really just see two eccentric gay men, creating a family they wanted. Weird??? Hell Yeah, but creepy or sad, nope.
Just plain old weird.
I don't think had they been able to adopt back then, they would have. I really think this is the kind of relationship they wanted with each other and their son.

[deleted account]

I find it quiet sad, not in a joke or mocking way but its upsetting to me reading the post and how they speak about there "son".A doll which both have created a very unhealthy bond to:-(

Carolyn - posted on 03/19/2011




i think i might have nightmares of them dolls staring at me.

I get the special needs folks "raising a doll" it can give them a sense of purpose, order, structure etc.

I have a hard time understanding someone treating a doll as a child, ( or as close as you could get i suppose since the 2 dont really compare) but there is no sense of bond, responsibility, creating life, teaching, mentoring, sharing life lessons, passing down family traditions etc with a rubber plastic doll.

I think its creepy and unhealthy. Atleast with a dog you can form a bond, have some reciprocity in your relationship etc.

Stifler's - posted on 03/19/2011




Creepy. And sad. I feel strange looking at those reborn dolls. I liked having a newborn baby and all but they are so vulnerable that it's way better once they've grown up a bit. These dolls don't even compare to the reality of hourly feeds, waking through the night etc.

Iridescent - posted on 03/19/2011




Sad. It's very common in Group Homes for people with special needs for the adult women to raise a doll. It's sad when people of full mental capacity in society need to resort to the same to fill that hole.

Nikki - posted on 03/19/2011




I have never heard of a reborn doll, wow. The couple, it's a little sad. I would have trouble taking them seriously. I agree with whoever said they should have gotten a pet instead.

Lacye - posted on 03/19/2011




I think the couple is a little creepy but that's just me.

Would I buy one of those reborn babies. Maybe if I could have one made that looked like my daughter when she was a newborn. It would be an interesting keepsake for me.

Katie - posted on 03/19/2011




Very creepy looking! I wouldn't like having one of those around the house, it'd just look wrong... I'd have to cover it up or put it in a cupboard out of sight!

Jenn - posted on 03/19/2011




I think it's creepy. If you can't have kids of your own for whatever reason, get a pet, babysit, work in a daycare centre or become a teacher, be a big brother/big sister, form a bond with your neices/nephews/friend's children. There are so many other ways to fill a void in your life that aren't on the verge of sick.

Mrs. - posted on 03/19/2011




It's not so much the concept of the reborn doll. It's that it looks like a dead baby. That creeps me out.

Mrs. - posted on 03/19/2011




Oh, I've seen the reborn dolls...I don't like thinking about them though. It really creeps me out.

Mrs. - posted on 03/19/2011




Oh, I've seen the reborn dolls...I don't like thinking about them though. It really creeps me out.

Johnny - posted on 03/19/2011




I've got to say, it's sad. I know several older gay couples who dearly wished they'd been able to have kids. In our co-op, one of our regular sitters are a gay couple who adore kids. My daughter and lots of the other kids love being at their place, they would have made great parents.

But the idea of anyone who could comfortably replace a child with a doll over a 20 year period concerns me. That is just a little over the top and creepy, I'm not sure they would have made great parents. Nothing to do with their sexuality, just their looniness.

Sneaky - posted on 03/19/2011




It would be wonderful to not have to worry about the kids drawing on the walls and stuff, but ..........

[deleted account]

I think it is sort of cute/sad at the same time. I agree that if people weren't so judgmental with Gays, they wouldn't feel the need to, I guess have a doll child. But then again, if they actually don't -want- a human child and enjoy what they have now, I might think it is a little odd, but everyone to their own right? Whatever floats your boat?

Jodi - posted on 03/19/2011




Definitely creepy......Sorry, but most people who can't have children get a dog or something. This just creeps me out.

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