New Gerber baby is first adopted child to feature in ad campaign

Baby Magnolia Earl from Ross, Calif., on Friday became the latest Gerber Baby, marking the first time an adopted baby has been selected for the company's campaign.

Magnolia was chosen out of more than 327,000 submissions to be welcomed into the Gerber Baby family, a tradition that dates back to 1928.

She now represents “every Gerber baby," the company said. She will be celebrating her first birthday Saturday.

Magnolia’s adoption process began on May 9, 2019, when her parents received a phone call from the adoption agency. An expectant mother was in labor and had selected the Earls as possible adoptive parents.

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“We… got a chance to connect with her amazing birth parents, and a few hours later, this sweet baby girl was born. Adoption is incredibly special to our family’s story. Winning Photo Search is an opportunity to tell Magnolia’s story and shed light on all the beautiful and different ways families are made,” Courtney Earl, Magnolia’s mother, told Gerber.

The Gerber Baby contest was open from Feb. 5 to Feb. 21. Hundreds of thousands of parents entered their children in the hope of winning not only bragging rights but also the grand prize of $25,000.

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There are rules to entering, and professionally taken photos are not allowed to be submitted.

According to the Gerber Photo Search 2020 Official Rules and Regulations, the final winner will be selected based off “visual appeal of the child" and "expressiveness," as well as "consistency with Gerber's heritage and its Anything For Baby mission.”

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Gerber President and CEO Bill Partyka said in a statement to Gerber: “At a time when we are yearning for connection and unity, Magnolia and her family remind us of the many things that bring us together: our desire to love and be loved, our need to find belonging, and our recognition that family goes way beyond biology.”