Gerber announces this year’s Gerber baby and her special backstory is a first for the company

May 19th, 2020

In 1931, the Gerber Baby was born. The endearing yet simple charcoal sketch entered into a contest by the Gerber company depicted the cutest tousle-haired, wide-eyed baby that became the company’s official trademark.

Drawn by artist Dorothy Hope Smith, the mysterious identity behind the beautiful baby with the wispy hair easily recognized around the world finally was revealed. In 1978, mystery novelist and retired English teacher Ann Turner Cook stepped into the spotlight and announced that she was the Gerber Baby.

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It turned out that Dorothy and Ann were neighbors!

Fast forward to 2010 when Gerber unveiled its new Gerber Baby Photo Search. Parents around the world were invited to submit their baby’s photo for the contest.

The contest has recognized winning babies of all walks of life. Every single one has a beautiful, expressive smile.

In 2017, Lucas Warren made history as the first Gerber Baby with Down syndrome. Kairi Yang beat out more than 544,000 contestants to become Gerber’s 2019 spokesbaby and the first Gerber Baby of Hmong descent.

And in 2020, on the 10th anniversary of the photo search, the Gerber Baby made history yet again.

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One-year-old Magnolia Earl of Ross, Calif., celebrated her birthday and her adoption day on the very same day. Her family was overjoyed when she was selected as the 2020 Gerber Baby contest winner, becoming the first such titleholder to be adopted.

Magnolia has the most beautiful, joyful expression and her captivating eyes gaze warmly at you from her photos. She was chosen from among more than 327,000 entries and symbolizes that a family is what you want it to be.

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Bill Partyka, president and chief executive officer of Gerber, perfectly described Magnolia’s selection as the Gerber Baby.

“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.”

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Today Source: Today

Courtney Earl, Magnolia’s mom, told Gerber that on May 9, 2019, the family received a call from the adoption agency that there was an expectant mom in labor who wanted to talk to them. They had been waiting half a year for this moment.

“We pulled off the highway, 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 (the) photo search is an opportunity to tell Magnolia’s story and shed light on all the beautiful and different ways families are made.”

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Flickr/Joyell VanGelder Source: Flickr/Joyell VanGelder

Magnolia has two older sisters, Whitney, 12, and Charlotte, 8, who also is adopted. They adore their baby sister and love bonding together doing sisterly things.

“It means that when people see our families, or if you see a family that doesn’t necessarily match, that you don’t have to question the belonging of anybody in that family.”

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Flickr/Derek Swanson Source: Flickr/Derek Swanson

Dad Russell echoed that their family is a family no matter what.

“Mommy always says a family is built on love. We may all look different, but we’re one family.”

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Today/The Earl Family Source: Today/The Earl Family

The family remains in touch with Magnolia’s biological parents whom they salute for what they did.

“We celebrate adoption in our family every single day. The real heroes in this story are Magnolia’s birth parents. They chose her life and they sent her on this incredible journey.”

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Flickr/Rachel Titiriga Source: Flickr/Rachel Titiriga

When Courtesy and Russell shared Magnolia’s big news with her biological parents, they were thrilled, too.

“If you could hear the joy in their voice of how proud they are of this little girl. Together with them and our community and our family, we all this love this baby girl so much.”

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Instagram – Today Source: Instagram – Today

Magnolia will be featured on Gerber’s social media channels and marketing campaigns for the next year. Her family also won a $25,000 prize and will be given $1,000 by Gerber Childrenswear, $1,000 from Walmart and phones with a year of unlimited free service from Verizon

“Magnolia has brought so much joy to everyone she meets. Her personality is beyond happy and joyful.”

This beautiful baby with her toothless, gummy grin who radiates happiness reminds us that it only takes a spark of joy to make a difference in this world.

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Source: Inspire More, Today, People, Gerber