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Doctor confirms real age of ‘child’ who turned out to be '22-year-old woman'

Jess Hardiman

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Doctor confirms real age of ‘child’ who turned out to be '22-year-old woman'

Featured Image Credit: Investigation Discovery

A doctor has confirmed the real age of Natalia Barnett – the ‘child’ who was believed to actually be a 22-year-old woman after being adopted by an American couple.

Back in 2010, Ukrainian Natalia Grace was adopted by Michael and Kristine Barnett, who were told she was a six-year-old child with a rare bone growth disorder.

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The Barnetts later claimed that she was an adult posing as a juvenile, eventually getting a judge to legally re-age her as a 22-year-old woman in 2012.

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However, the bizarre case never really found the neat conclusion that many people were looking for – even after it became the subject of an Investigation Discovery documentary earlier this year, where Michael and other family members, neighbours and friends discussed all of the signs that indicated something wasn’t quite right.

And just when you thought things couldn’t get even more baffling, Natalia herself has come forward, having opened up about her side of the story in a follow-up docu-series, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks, which premieres on 1 January.

Natalia is now speaking out. Credit: Investigation Discovery
Natalia is now speaking out. Credit: Investigation Discovery

At one point, we see Natalia visiting Dr Halland Chen, an age specialist from TruDiagnostics who is able to determine someone’s chronological age through a series of tests – a process sometimes used for insurance purposes, as it claims to help predict when someone will die.

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“I've known the truth for as long as I can remember, that I was a kid,” Natalia says.

“I just want people to really see the truth about my age.”

Natalia visited Dr Halland Chen for answers. Credit: Investigation Discovery
Natalia visited Dr Halland Chen for answers. Credit: Investigation Discovery

As Dr Chen delivers the results, Natalia starts tearing up.

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“Based off of all the studies and everything being analysed, you’re more closer to 22,” he tells her, adding: “Which is pretty close to what you think, [that] you’re almost 20 – that's within 2 years.”

An emotional Natalia says the shocking results throw ‘every single lie that the Barnetts have said right into the trash’.

“This is so big,” she goes on.

“This has literally been 13 years of just two people lying their butts off, they painted me as some big monster, when they were the ones.”

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Natalia teared up when she received the results. Credit: Investigation Discovery
Natalia teared up when she received the results. Credit: Investigation Discovery

If Chen’s findings are correct, then this means that Natalia was aged four when she came to the USA from Ukraine before being adopted by the Barnetts when she was seven, and eight when the age change petition was filed.

Believing she was an adult all along, the Barnetts placed Natalia into an apartment on her own when she was just supposedly just nine-years-old.

“I always knew I wasn’t an adult,” Natalia says.

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She adds ominously: “They are hiding something big, I wanna know the answers to these questions and I want people to pay for what they’ve done.”

The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks premieres on Investigation Discovery on 1 January 2024.

Topics: TV And Film, Documentaries, Natalia Grace

Jess Hardiman
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