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Child who turned out to be ‘22-year-old woman’ breaks down in tears as she finds out her real age

Jess Hardiman

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Child who turned out to be ‘22-year-old woman’ breaks down in tears as she finds out her real age

Featured Image Credit: Investigation Discovery

The Ukrainian child who was believed to be a ‘22-year-old woman’ broke down in tears when she finally found out her real age, having been at the centre of one of the world’s most bizarre mysteries for over a decade.

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Natalia Grace hit headlines after being adopted by Michael and Kristine Barnett in 2010, with the couple told she was a six-year-old child with a rare bone growth disorder.

However, the Barnetts later claimed she was an adult posing as a juvenile, and eventually managed to get a judge to legally re-age her as a 22-year-old woman in 2012.

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The wild story grew stranger still when an Investigation Discovery documentary – released earlier this year – showed that she may not have been a grown-up after all, despite supposed ‘proof’ from the Barnetts, neighbours and experts.

Natalia has now spoken out about the case herself, having opened up about her side of the story in a follow-up docuseries, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks, which premieres on 1 January.

Natalia Grace is speaking out in a new documentary. Credit: Investigation Discovery
Natalia Grace is speaking out in a new documentary. Credit: Investigation Discovery

At one point, she visits Dr Halland Chen, an age specialist from TruDiagnostics, for answers.

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Dr Chen and his team are 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.

Natalia starts tearing up as he tells her: “Based off of all the studies and everything being analysed, you’re more closer to 22.

"Which is pretty close to what you think, [that] you’re almost 20 – that's within 2 years.”

Natalia with Dr Halland Chen. Credit: Investigation Discovery
Natalia with Dr Halland Chen. Credit: Investigation Discovery
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Clearly moved by the results and what they mean for her struggle, an emotional Natalia says: “This is so big.

“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.”

If Chen’s findings are correct, it means Natalia was 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 by her adoptive parents.

According to new evidence, Natalia was actually a child when she was adopted. Credit: Investigation Discovery
According to new evidence, Natalia was actually a child when she was adopted. Credit: Investigation Discovery
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Believing she was an adult all along, the Barnetts had even placed Natalia into an apartment on her own – at which point she is believed to have been just nine years old.

“I always knew I wasn’t an adult,” Natalia adds, before saying ominously to the camera: “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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