The Best Newborn Photo Ever: A 13-Year-Old Adoptee Gets the Baby Pictures He Never Had

Baby pictures are hard to come by for adoptees, especially if they’ve spent years in the foster care system. Maybe the birth parents didn’t have the time, money or inclination to take a few, and surely, adoption agencies don’t have the resources to concern themselves with such things. I have only two baby pictures that I know of, and in those, I’m about six months old, so I haven’t a clue what I looked like before then—how I blossomed and filled in and morphed into who I am today. Which is what makes these “new” newborn photos of a 13-year-old Florida adoptee so incredibly sweet.

Latrell Higgins, adopted along with his sister by a Florida photographer and her husband two years ago, mentioned during a dinner table discussion about his mother’s upcoming newborn photo shoot that it would have been cool to have newborn photos of himself. His mom, Kelli, thought her son’s wish bittersweet: “I was very sad too because I didn’t have any photos of him either,” Higgins told the Today show. “I think it’s really hard to have children and not know what they looked like when they were younger.”

But “newborn” pictures of Latrell became more than a notion when his 12-year-old sister, one of Kelli’s five biological children, suggested they “recreate” a newborn photo shoot just for the teen. The next day, the two created the shot illustrating this post, both laughing hysterically the whole time. Kelli immediately posted it on Facebook with a status update that read, “Here’s my sweet not so little Newborn! His name is Latrell and weighs 112lbs.”

Latrell’s “newborn” photo since has been shared on Facebook thousands of times.

Of course, some raised concerns that Latrell would be embarrassed by the pictures, but the 13-year-old, born August 2, 1999, says he and his friends think they’re pretty funny. And parents who’ve adopted children of their own have been incredibly supportive online. Wrote one mom: “This is such a beautiful thing to do! I know so many people who adopted older children and don’t have ANY pictures of their infancy. What a spectacular way to remedy that… after all, he’ll always be your baby.”

In the meantime, Kelli Higgins is using the momentum created by her teenage son’s “newborn” photos to rally families to adopt older children. Which is, perhaps, the sweetest thing of all, particularly considering how many African American children are waiting to be adopted. Rock on Latrell and Kelli! Rock on.


1. Adoption and ‘The Blood’: Embracing the True Meaning Of Love, Family and the Ties That Bind
2. A Mother’s Love: A Love Letter To The Woman Who Gave Me Away
3. African American Babies Need Moms Who Know Their History
4. Happy 10th Birthday, Mari! Double Digits Rock!

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. We are going through our adoption process from foster care right now and seeing these images really struck me. It’s funny how much we (non-adoptees) take for granted.

    As long as he’s cool with it, I think it’s a fabulous idea! We have no idea what age kid we’re gonna get … so I’ll have to keep this in the back of my mind. =)

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. This is so heartwarming. My grandmother was a foster then adoptive mother.

    This awesome, handsome young man is blessed…and so is his family.

  3. New doesn’t always mean brand new. Appreciation of what is new to us is a beautiful sentiment. Celebrating the love of a new family member in such a unique way is heartwarming.

  4. Denene,

    You have a way with making me tear up. This is such a good way to welcome an adopted child into a family. I imagine it would make them feel like they are part of the family and that the “newborn” photos are the beginning of life for them.

    Great share! ~ Allyssa K.

  5. I wish I had thought of this when I was younger…I’m 38 and I’m not adopted however, I believe my Aunt told me a fire destroyed the few baby pictures they had of me..I think this is an awesome idea and give big kudo’s to the family for fulfilling a wish of the child that formed in their heart..

  6. This is why we have so many feminine boys now. At 13 he should be learning to become a young man not a baby. This is some BS and very suspect. # Epic FAIL!

  7. Beautiful story, filled with love!

  8. I simply love this! What a beautiful way to commemorate an adoption. It’s really a rather ingenious idea especially given your point about so many adoptees not having pictures. This really warmed my heart and what a charming looking young man.

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