Local

Noblesville adult baby store closes temporarily amid legal battle with city

UPDATE: The owners of My Inner Baby in Noblesville said on Twitter early Thursday that the store has temporarily closed.

The tweet said, “Unfortunately, we have some sad news to share tonight. As you likely know, we’ve been fighting for the survival of our business against the morals of the city of Noblesville. Today (8/10), they made it clear that they would seek penalties of up to $7,500 per day if we stay open! We’ve made the difficult decision to temporarily close our retail store for now. But this is not the end!”

The owners on Tuesday afternoon filed court documents to seek a stay of Noblesville’s order to shut down its store and to request a judicial review of the city’s order.

A spokesperson for the city of Noblesville’s legal department on Tuesday, after the initial story first aired, provided News 8 with a statement in response to the suit filed by the owners of My Inner Baby:

“The City is continuing to take appropriate action to enforce existing zoning ordinances for the benefit of the community.  On August 1, 2022, the Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously affirmed the Noblesville Planning Director’s decision that the business My Inner Baby was operating is not a permitted use under Noblesville’s Ordinances.  Despite the unanimous decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals, My Inner Baby continued operating, and therefore the City requested (and continues to request) that My Inner Baby voluntarily comply with the law and the Board’s decision.

“The City will continue to monitor the situation and will take further legal or enforcement action as appropriate.  As of this time, no petition for judicial review has been received by the City.”

Original coverage from Aug. 7, 2022, follows

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The owners of My Inner Baby received a cease-and-desist order from the Noblesville city government on Friday, days after the Board of Zoning Appeals ruled the business was in violation of its current zoning guidelines.

The store opened almost two years ago in a commercial strip between State Road 37 and Herriman Boulevard.

“We’re a medical supply store. We sell adult diapers and related incontinence supplies as well as costumes for age-play, as well as any type of events where people want to participate in age regression,” said owner Ryan Polokoff.

Polokoff said age regression is used in therapy, allowing people to retreat back to a time in their lives when they felt safe.

“PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) comes into play. We’ve got customers that are military, or ex-military, that have stressful jobs, and it’s just a coping mechanism to help deal with adulting,” Polokoff said.

The city government says because My Inner Baby markets itself with the hashtag “#ABDL’ — adult babies and diaper lovers — by definition, it’s considered a sex shop, and therefore the business is violating its commercial zoning guidelines.

“ABDLs are a group of persons who involve themselves in child-like role-playing for sexual stimulation,” said attorney Beth Copeland at an Aug. 1 zoning meeting.

Polokoff admits that while a portion of his customers may use some of his products for role-playing, he doesn’t ask them any questions.

His business is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell high-quality diapers to those who need them for medical purposes.

“We’re going to fight for what’s right. The short of it is we’re not going to be bullied by people that want to impart morals that are theirs,” Polokoff said.

Polokoff said he is suing the city government to prevent them from evicting his business.