Couple who adopted 'child' who turned out to be 22-year-old woman set to expose ‘truth’
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Featured Image Credit: Investigation Discovery
A few years ago, a 'six-year-old Ukrainian orphan' hit headlines after it transpired she was actually a 22-year-old woman.
The bizarre story has now been turned into a new Investigation Discovery documentary:
However, it was later revealed that Natalia was not who she said she was – far from it.
Over time, it emerged that she actually has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, and was not a child at all.
The Barnetts, who also had children of their own, later alleged that as Natalia masqueraded as a child in their home, she attempted to harm the family.
Mum Kristine told the Daily Mail in 2019: "She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard.
"I saw her putting chemicals, bleach, Windex something like that, in my coffee and I asked her, 'what are you doing?' She said, 'I am trying to poison you'.
"The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here."
Kristine continued: "Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism.
"The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults.
"She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing."
Michael and Kristine eventually decided to take action by petitioning a probate court to amend Natalia's official birth year back 14 years.
The petition was granted back in 2012, which legally changed Natalia's age from just nine-years-old to 23.
But that wasn’t the end of their ordeal.
In 2013, the family took off to Canada and deserted Natalia in an apartment in Layfette, Indiana – at which point, authorities pushed 'neglect charges' onto the couple.
Michael and Kristine pushed back and instead claimed they were victims of fraud.
They are now telling their story in a forthcoming documentary, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace.
A synopsis says: "Initially assumed to be a 6-year-old Ukrainian orphan with a rare bone growth disorder, Natalia was adopted by Kristine and Michael Barnett in 2010.
"However, the happy family dynamic soured when allegations against Natalia were brought by the Barnetts who alleged Natalia was an adult masquerading as a child with intent to harm their family.”
In the trailer, we see Michael in tears as he explains what they went through.
"We were all abused," he says.
"I hate this. She tried to poison and kill my wife.
"[And] one night, I opened my eyes and Natalia is standing at the foot of the bed with a knife in her hand."
Their son Jake adds: "I definitely didn't feel safe around Natalia.”
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace will air for three consecutive nights on Investigation Discovery starting on Monday, May 29, from 9-11pm ET/PT.